"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Saturday, December 29, 2007


and bad theater at that ... call it a farce.

Scathing review of the abuse of the traveling public.
And don't dare complain.
Kudos to Partick Smith

The Airport Security Follies - Jet Lagged - Air Travel - Opinion - New York Times Blog:

"Unfortunately, at concourse checkpoints all across America, the madness of passenger screening continues in plain view. It began with pat-downs and the senseless confiscation of pointy objects. Then came the mandatory shoe removal, followed in the summer of 2006 by the prohibition of liquids and gels. We can only imagine what is next."

Friday, December 28, 2007

Swan lake

So far, our lake only has a couple of breeding pairs, as well as some transients.

The Noble, Gentle Swan Is Anything but, to Some:

"Known for gliding along local waterways with statuesque grace, the mute swan is rarely thought of as an environmental hazard.

But wildlife experts say that the swan’s elegant facade conceals an ecological menace that devours shoreline vegetation, scares away other waterfowl and can even attack humans. The bird is now a target of a campaign to reduce its numbers in the state’s delicate coastline habitats.

The leaders of the effort are conservationists, including the Connecticut Audubon Society, which in the coming months will intensify a campaign to urge state officials to control the swans’ population, which stands at about 1,100."

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Meta ... Physics

Good piece on anthropocentric universe

Universe - Laws of Nature - Physics

The universe is because it is

Bright Idea...

Or is it?

No Joke, Bulb Change Is Challenge for U.S.

How many legislators does it take to change a lightbulb?

Retrofit fixtures, cans
Disposal of CF's ...mercury

Will there be funding for low income folks to buy bulbs?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Shirley got me ...

Two-Lane Blacktop

Maybe the best "road" movie made, at least in that era.
Just re-released on DVD.

Background: 1968 was my first car, a Firebird.
That September was time for a "road trip" to check on the Canadian Rockies. Inspiration was the Gene Autry tune "Blue Canadian Rockies" on the Byrds album "Sweetheart of the Rodeo" released that July.

Later I got into modifications, more modifications, even more modifications and a bit of 'racin'

Restless time, and the movie really hit a chord by the time it came out ('71).

Not much dialog, mostly "road time".

Later, I discovered motorcycles and added even more miles, a lot more, rockies several times, Smokey Mts, Ozarks, Arizona.

Preferred the open spaces of the American and Canadian West.

Shirley and I are talking about need for a "road trip", maybe not this spring, but soon.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Close to wrapping up the year

Some highlights

Well, a full year
From one of “those” birthdays, and a wonderful gathering with my family, to wrapping up our Conservation Easement.

Ian popped the question, to which I answered “like I’m surprised?”
Wedding due late Oct ’08.
Nicole announced that Robby will be an “older brother”

Travel was rather light, Chicago to see Whitney, California to see Nicole and Robby, NYC for conference and “vacation”, Sanibel mostly on condo stuff.

Purity Foods prevailed against “Evil PFoods” who closed their doors. Late in the year, looks like progress in working with Michigan State University on nutrition and bio-availability issues.

Finished re-organization of Earthy.com by increasing investment and bundling the packaged goods (retail) business with the dot-com.

Helped arrange the launch of Cherry Capital Foods, working with founder Eric Hahn and Earthy Delights.

Wetco financed (Lease) the white flour mill for Purity foods, then later, coolers for Cherry Capital Foods.

Helped put Red Cedar Technology on a more solid financial footing, and this company continues to make progress, with a likely teaming up with the biggest software service company in India.

We got Shirley’s studio finished, and some further tidy up of the cabin.
New lift built for “Chip’s Ahoy” and she was featured in “Wooden boats of Leelanau”

Broke down and bought (used) Honda S2000, my “M22 Car”

Visited Maine, for Andy/Katie’s wedding.
Now, only Alaska is missing from my list of states visited.

Wrapped up our Conservation Easement, now to draw more landowners into the program. Related was getting our Forest Management plan approved.


Progress with the Glen Lake Association Long Term Planning committee.

Shirley accepted board nomination to GLA.

Establishment of Leelanau Brownfield Redevelopment Authority

Accepted offer of Chair of the Leelanau EDC for ’08. This position leads to board seat on the Traverse Bay EDC.

Moving into the new year :
Discussions about launch of Leelanau Timber LLC/Champion Trees project
Discussions (early) about further support of Taste the Local Difference, mainly via looking at ways to help growers establish greenhouses.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Interesting stuff

It's more important to work at the bottom than the top
But do the politicians know it?

18 Is Enough — Sightline Institute:

"You save more fuel switching from a 15 to 18 mpg car than switching from a 50 to 100 mpg car."

Math works, and even better for this:
GMC - 2008 Yukon Hybrid | World's First Hybrid SUV

From 14 city to 21, a 50% improvement
Plenty of arguments on both sides, a Yukon is bigger than we need in our household, but if you carry a lot of bodies, or just stuff, it may make sense.
Greatest savings being city

And remember, hauling 4 folks in a SUV (plus gear) is about the same as 2 in a Prius. Maybe even better once EPA data is adjusted (down)

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Senior's rule

It will happen ...

"TRBN: terminal rule by boomer narcissists."

Demographics: The Population Hourglass:

"It's hard to overstate the weight of the numbers: Boomers now represent a U.S. market of some 36 million, or about 12% of the population, and as they move up the pyramid, the number of seniors is going to rise dramatically. By 2011, the 65-and-over population will be growing faster than the population as a whole in each of the 50 states. The Boomer Binge will have begun."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Blowin in the wind ...

Not all Green Ideas may be great
or ... maybe just a time and a place for everything

Debating the Merits of Energy From Air - New York Times:

"Supporters see modern wind turbines not as Don Quixote’s ferocious giants but as elegant symbols of a clean-energy future. But as the industry expands amid global pressure to cut carbon emissions and fight climate change, an increasingly mobilized anti-wind farm lobby in Europe, North America and elsewhere is decrying the turbines as ugly, noisy and destructive, especially for picturesque locales that rely on tourism. “These are not just one or two turbines spinning majestically in the blue sky and billowing clouds,” said Lisa Linowes, executive director of Industrial Wind Action Group, an international advocacy group based in New Hampshire that opposes wind farms."

Sweden Turns to a Promising Power Source, With Flaws - New York Times:

"Yet Sweden’s gleaming wind park is entering service at a time when wind energy is coming under sharper scrutiny, not just from hostile neighbors, who complain that the towers are a blot on the landscape, but from energy experts who question its reliability as a source of power.

For starters, the wind does not blow all the time. When it does, it does not necessarily do so during periods of high demand for electricity. That makes wind a shaky replacement for more dependable, if polluting, energy sources like oil, coal and natural gas. Moreover, to capture the best breezes, wind farms are often built far from where the demand for electricity is highest. The power they generate must then be carried over long distances on high-voltage lines, which in Germany and other countries are strained and prone to breakdowns.

In the United States, one of the areas most suited for wind turbines is the central part of the country, stretching from Texas through the northern Great Plains — far from the coastal population centers that need the most electricity."

Then there's Ethanol ...

Food and Fuel Compete for Land - New York Times:

"For years, cheap food and feed were taken for granted in the United States.

But now the price of some foods is rising sharply, and from the corridors of Washington to the aisles of neighborhood supermarkets, a blame alert is under way.

Among the favorite targets is ethanol, especially for food manufacturers and livestock farmers who seethe at government mandates for ethanol production. The ethanol boom, they contend, is raising corn prices, driving up the cost of producing dairy products and meat, and causing farmers to plant so much corn as to crowd out other crops."

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mother Lode

Release 1.0 Back Issues - O'Reilly Radar

ENTIRE set of back issues!

"Taken as a group, these back issues offer a fascinating record of the evolution of computer technology spanning nearly a quarter century..."

"The whole series has enormous historical value. Esther was (and still is) unusually good at both seeing future directions and bringing a critical sensibility to covering those who would take us there."

Monday, December 17, 2007

Just not sexy ...cont

Caught this show while driving downstate yesterday.
It's so much easier to video traffic and tailpipes.

What TV viewers even know where Java is, and Amazon is where you shop. Congo? ... maybe in Africa?

Living on Earth: December 14, 2007:

Java Trees

"CURWOOD: It's Living on Earth. I'm Steve Curwood. One of the most controversial parts of the climate negotiations here in Bali, Indonesia, involved forests. Cutting forests, especially tropical forests, puts more CO2 into the air each year than all the cars and trucks combined on the whole planet. But so far the developing countries in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia—that have the bulk of the world's tropical forests—have gotten only limited support from the developed part of the world in the fight against deforestation."

Sunday, December 16, 2007


No bloggin lately

Been busy

I accepted the chair of the Leelanau EDC

We meet about 6 times a year, which is workable. But, with the chair comes a board seat on Traverse Bay EDC ... and this led to attending a "leadership retreat on the 6th. Which was fine, but it was the same day and time as the Long Term Planning Committee for the Glen Lake Association (GLA). and for the 6th, I'd helped arrange for a meeting I'd set up for the committee and the Leelanau Conservancy.

Upside: Brian Price, the Executive Director of the Conservancy, was to attend the retreat ... about an hour away.
So we rode together and had a chance to talk over several issues.

In between these was the Leelanau steering committee of the Michigan Land Use Institute MLUI
Meantime, there were the normal bill paying, snow blowing, etc etc
We wrapped up with dinner with past president of the GLA, and were able to cover a lot of topics.

Last week started with County Brownfield Authority, and Thursday was a series of meetings dealing with Cherry Capital Foods/CCF (I'm part owner) then hosting the TBEDC board, followed by the Advisory Board presentations (I kept mine short!)...
Several conversations about local food, and setting up greenhouses (in part to supply CCF)

Friday was back to Leland to execute our Conservation Easement on the woodlot, something we've worked on for a few months.
Now we can launch the "Greater Glen Lake Watershed" project with the Conservancy... a long term goal of ours.

Meanwhile, I've also been in conversations about setting up up "Leelanau Timber LLC"
Set up a wiki for this, more comment as it evolves.

Got a call from David Milarch of the Champion Tree Project (NYTimes story) looks like we'll work to tie Leelanau Timber LLC and Champion Tree Project together.

Managed to get most of the year end donations, paperwork and taxes wrapped up.

Packed up and back to Lansing today

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

But it just isn't sexy

But but but
It's sooooo much easier to target Detroit, video of slow moving traffic and tailpipes are so much more "photogenic" and everyone "knows" that personal transportation is the root of the problem, consumers know that they pay for gasoline, but don't pay attention to coal being used to generate their electricity.

Power generation is too removed from day to day experience, nothing like pumping gas.

It's so much easier to call for higher fuel standards (for the other guy, I'll keep my SUV thank you) than to call for better building codes.
Very telling is that decisions are made by builders and landlords, not consumers.

So go plug in your Prius, the coal plant is in someone else's backyard...

Study Details How U.S. Could Cut 28% of Greenhouse Gases - New York Times:

"The United States could shave as much as 28 percent off the amount of greenhouse gases it emits at fairly modest cost and with only small technology innovations, according to a new report.

A large share of the reductions could come from steps that would more than pay for themselves in lower energy bills for industries and individual consumers, the report said, adding that people should take those steps out of good sense regardless of how worried they might be about climate change. But that is unlikely to happen under present circumstances, said the authors, who are energy experts at McKinsey & Company, the consulting firm.

The report said the country was brimming with “negative cost opportunities” — potential changes in the lighting, heating and cooling of buildings, for example, that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels even as they save money. “These types of savings have been around for 20 years,” said Jack Stephenson, a director of the study. But he said they still face tremendous barriers.

Among them is that equipment is often paid for by a landlord or a builder and chosen for its low initial cost. The cost of electricity or other fuels to operate the equipment is borne by a tenant or home buyer. That means the landlord or builder has no incentive to spend more upfront for efficient equipment, even though doing so would save a lot of money in the long run."


"In contrast to improved efficiency, measures like capturing carbon dioxide from coal power plants and storing it would be relatively costly, and they account for less than 10 percent of the potential to cut emissions, the study said. The potential contributions from new nuclear plants and renewable energy supplies from wind or solar sources are also relatively modest, the report said."

Monday, December 03, 2007

So who's left?

Posted this elsewhere back on Nov 14th

Axis of evil - Wikipedia

Libya (not part of original list, but added, caved years ago. Cuba pretty much waiting for Castro to leave the stage, Iraq … well, they are “busy” right now, N.Korea dismantling their nuke program, due to be re-united with S.Korea in next decade or so, and now … Iran?

What will this portend for the election?
Will the voting public respond to news closer to the election?
Are these developments behind Hillary's somewhat hawkish stance?

Will the Saudi's lower oil prices next year ... which hurts Russia?

Many interesting things to play out.

Now we have this:

U.S. Says Iran Ended Atomic Arms Work - New York Times:

"Washington Dec. 3 — A new assessment by American intelligence agencies concludes that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and that the program remains frozen, contradicting judgment two years ago that Tehran was working relentlessly toward building a nuclear bomb.

The conclusions of the new assessment are likely to reshape the final year of the Bush administration, which has made halting Iran’s nuclear program a cornerstone of its foreign policy. "

So who's left?
Does Bush declare victory?

Was this behind the Annapolis meeting on Israel/Palestine?

What happens to Oil?

Will there be a drop, pinching Putin and Chavez?

Interesting times

Sunday, December 02, 2007

What the F ?!?!?

Rivera's one of the suspects in the killing of Sean Taylor, of the Washington Redskins...

Suspect to stay in Lee County jail - News- msnbc.com:

"'It's a tragedy for the Taylor family that's indescribable. It's a tragedy for the family's of these young men. Their lives have gone right down the tube,' said Wilbur Smith, Rivera's lawyer."

The four young men broke into Taylor's Miami home with intent to commit robbery ... with a gun.
Didn't expect to find Taylor home, but did, shot him and he bled to death.

Hey ... who's lives have been ruined?