Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Joshua Tree at risk due to increased pollution

Pollution from LA is increasing the levels of nitrogen in the soil in the inland desert. Desert plants are not equipped to deal with these higher concentrations, but the introduced grasses are. As a result, the grasses have a competitive advantage over the native plants. Increased grass growth, results in more tinder later in the season. This has resulted in more frequent and intense cycles of wildfires. The slow growing Joshua trees aren't able to adapt to the changing frequency of fires and are unable to re-establish themselves before the next fire sweeps through.

Creation Museum opens in Kentucky

A privately funded Creation museum, costing $25 million, opened last Friday in Petersburg Kentucky. Just down river from Cincinnati, the museum shares the neighborhood with a world class Newport Aquarium.

The museum features high-tech exhibits designed by a theme-park artist, including animatronic dinosaurs and a wooden ark at least two stories tall, plus a special effects theater and planetarium.

Some exhibits show dinosaurs aboard Noah's Ark and assert that all animals were vegetarians until Adam committed the first sin in the Garden of Eden.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Colorado State Forest

This weekend we took Kelly camping in the Colorado State Forest. The park is just west of the Never Summer Range, seen in the distance, and located near North Park, near the Wyoming border. Back on the front range near Denver, summer is just starting to edge out spring, but over North Park, spring was just thinking about starting.

The state forest is well known as the Moose viewing capital of Colorado. Moose have wandered into Colorado occasionally, but there was no breeding population until animals were introduced to North Park from Utah and Wyoming in 1978 and 1979. They can now be found through out the state.

We never saw any during our visit, but we saw plenty of signs that they were around.

We camped the weekend in the state park camp ground. The facilities were minimal, but very nice. Our tent site was right next to a lake. The days were cool and nights even colder, so insect life wasn't a concern. The campground was full for the holiday weekend, but it didn't seem crowded.

Kelly didn't sleep much of the first night, with all the new sounds and smells of the wild to keep her attention. The next morning we were awakened by a dog ready to go.

Our first breakfast was a cold one. The low the night before was in the high teens.

Yummm duck for breakfast!

The flowers were just starting to bloom. This one was quite unusual. Its called a Pasque and opened when the sun came out from behind the clouds. The rest were just too small to photograph with my little pocket camera.

The forests are middle aged second growth - there was a lot of clear cutting here in the 1970's. The trees were pretty healthy, but a few were tagged to be cut because of beetle infestation.

We found beaver dam's all over the place, producing shallow lakes that the Moose liked.

Kelly hiking with one of her humans.

Kelly catching some ZZZZ's under the mid-day sun.

Between being up all night and having a busy day, the little dog was too tired to beg for food at dinner. We fixed her bed, but she chose ours instead.

Little dog had a tiring weekend and immediately started catching up when we got back home.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dr. Zaius on Rampage?

An Orangutan escaped from his cage at Taiwanese Zoo, overturning tables, motorbikes, and terrifying Diners.

Here I thought Dr. Zaius was waiting another 1900 years before overthrowing the rule of man. And when did you move to Taiwan?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Dem's do what they do best - cave

Yesterday, the democrat congress blinked and the president won. Congressional Democrats gave George a gift when they dropped their demand for troop-withdrawal deadlines in an Iraq war spending package.
Instead of sticking with troop-withdrawal dates, Democrats accepted a GOP plan to establish 18 political and legislative benchmarks for the Iraqi government, with periodic reports from Bush on its progress, starting in late July.

At least the Speaker might not vote for it. Read the whole story here.

The Simpsons Couch Gags - season 6-10

The Simpsons Couch Gags - Season 1-5

The Simpsons Couch Gags- season 11-16

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Thinking Blogger Award

I was honored this week when Zaius Nation nominated this blog with the Thinking Blogger Award, along with five other lucky bloggers.

The rules of participation of this award are as follows:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote.

My five are below.

Five Thought Provoking Blogs

As part of being nominated for the Thinking Blogger Award I need to choose five blogs that I find thought provoking. I don't read too many independent blogs on a regular basis. Mostly I check out the professional blogs - Huffington Post, This Modern World, Bob Harris, and then I check out a few independent blogs that I read regularly. Many of these regulars have already been nominated, and since I've decided to go with long with Zaius Nation's choice not to nominate sites that have already been nominated, that leaves a pretty eclectic mix.

1.The Scratching Post has to be number one, because KT's blog is what inspired me to blog. I've known KT for half my life. While he's often infuriating, I've benefited from his challenge to my perspectives, and surprised myself on how much we can agree on.

2.David Brin is a science and hard science fiction writer I met my first year in college. At the time he was promoting his first book, Sun Diver. I've enjoyed his keen mind and thoughtful analysis ever sense.

3.Red State Son has anger issues, but then again if you're not pissed off, you're not paying attention. He blogs about culture, politics and his personal life.

4.Rick Lee is a commercial photographer who lives in Charleston, West Virginia, but photographs just about everywhere. His photo blog doesn't have much text, but the images are usually worth the time.

5.Real climate I had a hard time thinking of a fifth blog, so I cheated a bit and listed something bordering on a professional blog. Real climate is a great clearing house of information about clime research, but geared toward a general audience.

Thursday, May 17, 2007


One of Kelly's humans is an aspiring black and white photographer and has just put up her site.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Fonda and Colbert, up close and personal!

Wednesday night Stephen Colbert and Jane Fonda got up close and personal discussing her new movie Georga Rule. This interview is a revisit of last year's Kiss the Cook episode where Fonda, Colbert and Gloria Steinem taught Steven feminism and how to bake an apple pie. Simply hilarious!

Happy one year blog-o-versary for Zaius Nation

Today is the first blog-o-versary of Zaius Nation, a master hand at photoshop and major fan of Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Its hard to imagine he's only been around a year given what he's done with the site.

Dogs and Squirrels

And here I thought Kelly just wanted to eat the squirrels.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Evil Phantom Zone kitties from Krypton!

Zaius Nation uncovers the evil truth about cats!
It's so simple! It all makes perfect sense. I am now beginning to understand my own cat's erratic behavior. You know how your cat gets that faraway look in their eyes, and stares blankly into space? They are really listening to the evil plans of Kryptonian kitty criminals from the Phantom Zone!

Open mouth, insert foot, bite down hard.

The Rev Al Sharpton strikes again. In the past I've enjoyed the entertainment factor Al has added into the dull scripted Democratic primary elections. But his recent comment while debating atheist Christopher Hitchens shows that intolerance comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. In reference to Mitt Romney's presidential bid, the Rev was recently overheard uttering;
As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation.

Of all things that can be said about the vile history of the LDS church, not believing in God is certainly not one of them.

Perhaps its long past time to excise the Rev Al from the body politic.

More Dog Humor

Taken without permission from the other coast by Adrian Raeside.

Taken without permission from Mother Goose and Grim by Mike Peters.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Southwest Rock Art

Islands in the Sky Canyonlands National Park

Canyonlands National Park, Islands in the Sky, looking east and south.

Upper Gemini Bridges

Long Canyon - the short cut from the Islands in the Sky region of Canyonlands national park.

Moab in Spring

Just got back from a long weekend in Moab. Rained the whole time - at least until the day we left. Pretty unusual for Moab. The sky's were quite dramatic, but came out a featureless white in the photos.

I took a hike down a small canyon minutes from downtown Moab,

with a nice flowing stream. The canyon was filled with wild flowers

and cactus.

Toward dusk, the sun broke through and lit the distant ridge.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Kelly is going to the Spa

Kelly is going spa'ing (kennel) this week. Her humans are off to Moab, Utah. The land of Canyon Lands and Arches. We'll post some of the pictures when we get back. The weather is looking unusually wet for this time of year.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The problem with Wikipedia

Its been pointed out countless times that the strength of Wikipedia is also its weakness. Its a good source of information concerning popular culture, geography, chemistry, computer science and technology. Its hit and miss beyond that.