Category Archives: Nature

Great big old ducks

Original Hospital and Lake1
Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

Back in the late 1800s when they dug that lake to excavate clay to make bricks for that original VA hospital they had to do something about the hole it left behind. So they filled it with water. Made a nice little recreation facility for the biggest piece of a century.

But what nobody could anticipate was that a time would come when nobody would give a damn about maintaining the lake. That it would become a sedimentation pond for the droppings of hundreds of waterfowl migrating in every winter, and some who just stay year around.

And over time the lake would mostly fill with those droppings until it was so shallow a person would have to work to drown in it.

That lake mostly can’t handle the biological oxygen demand because of all the manure. And nobody is about to spend the money to blow that water into the air to keep it alive. There’s a little bubbler at one end that sometimes works, but otherwise the pond turns over, stinks, kills a lot of fish, and is a sad reminder of how much maintenance man-made creations demand over the course of time.

great big old ducks

Nobody in my life has ever appreciated my sense of humor, and the same applies here. But at least I figure it helps make these drunks, derelicts, and opinionated old men feel better about themselves by being able to think me stupid. So anytime I get the chance to work it into a conversation I say something about those ‘great big old ducks’ running around crapping on everything.

And crap they do….. the grounds are speckled with them…. looks like someone ran one of those plugging things across the lawns. Yeah, and the streets, [and they do let fly as they pass over cars…. nothing like a splash of great big old duck droppings on your windshield].

But I digress.

A man staggering by knee-walking drunk will pause, gaze at me a moment, and shake his head almost every time if I remark to him, “Reckon where all those great big old ducks come from, anyway?”

Makes him feel better about himself. I’m convince of it. Yeah, I know they’re geese. But what the hell?

We all have our own small parts to play helping veterans, I figure.

Old Jules


That Old Blue Moon


Total Eclipse of the Moon of 2018 Jan. 31
Delta T: 69.7s

Location: W 95°38’00.0″, N39°04’00.0″, 200m
(Longitude referred to Greenwich meridian)

Moon’s Position
UT1 Altitude Azimuth Angle
d h m ° ° °
Moon enters penumbra 31 10:49.8 29.1 268.5 89.3
Moon enters umbra 31 11:48.1 18.1 277.0 83.2
Moon enters totality 31 12:51.4 6.4 286.0 241.1
Maximum Eclipse 31 13:29.8 -0.4 291.6 10.4
Moonset 31 13:32 —- 292.0 —–

Penumbral Duration: 2h 42.6m
Umbral Duration: 1h 44.2m
Duration of Totality: 0h 41.0m
Magnitude: 1.321

Hi Readers…… Thanks for coming by for a read.

A while back I came across a vintage Meade 114mm EQ telescope still in the box, evidently never having been out of it.   Just the sort of thing I dreamed about down on Gale’s meadow down in Texas.    But now it’s here in my apartment complete with a multitude of eye-pieces, a motor drive, moon filters, and a complete lunar eclipse coming at me January 31.

I’ll confess to your I find it mildly annoying that a blue moon doesn’t have a dadgummed thing to do with the visual aspects …… it just means it’s the second full moon in a calendar month, which doesn’t happen all that often.   And while I’m being mildly annoyed moon-wise, I might as well wring it out further and say, what’s the deal with calling four total eclipses in a row a Blood Moon?   How unspectacular is that, anyway?   Blood moon Blue Moon and all we get is just another plain old ordinary full lunar eclipse.


But you have to admit there have been a number of really good songs about blue moons….. Sinatra, Billie Holliday, the Marcels, Ella Fitzgerald, Elvis, Dean Martin, Jo Stafford, Greta Keller, Ritchie Valens, and even Sam Cooke sang about it.    So whatever it lacks in spectacular out-of-the-ordinary-eclipse visuals, you have to admit there’s plenty of fine background music.

I don’t know about you, but if I can stay awake and if it isn’t too frigid I’m going to be looking at that blue moon this time around.    And maybe have myself a little concert of dead singers harmonizing about it so’s I won’t forget how special it is.

Thanks for the visit.

Old Jules





“The men who write upon these walls,” mystery solved

The part about rolling it in little balls had scientists tearing their hair out.  Putting periscopes under the partitions trying to catch someone doing it.

The part about rolling it in little balls had scientists tearing their hair out. Putting periscopes under the partitions trying to catch someone doing it.

If they'd looked at the floor they could have solved it decades earlier.

If they’d looked at the floor they could have solved it decades earlier.

Hi readers.  Scientists have finally solved one of the most puzzling mysteries of the 20th Century.  The poem beginning, “The men who write upon these walls,” found on the stall partitions in Mens’ rooms was a phenomenon more pervasive than the “Kilroy was here” riddle of the WWII era.

Now they can finally settle down to studying why the magnetic poles of earth wander around from hell to breakfast.

Old Jules

New research shows Earth’s core spins in opposite directions

Evidently it’s enough that all this was discovered by researchers, as opposed to pipe fitters or policemen.  At least they do say the researchers were in the UK and Switzerland.  Which certainly adds a lot of faith to an otherwise questionable set of findings.

September 20, 2013GEOLOGY – According to new research from UK and Swiss scientists, the core of our planet is more complicated than we thought, with layers rotating in different directions, and it all may solve a mystery about the Earth’s magnetic field that’s persisted for over 300 years. The Earth’s core is separated into two different layers. At the centre is the solid inner core, which is surrounded by the liquid outer core — both made up of a mixture of nickel and iron. Scientists figured out the structure of the two layers decades ago, based on watching seismic waves from earthquakes passing through the planet, and they also discovered that it is circulations in the hot, liquid metal of the outer core that generate the Earth’s magnetic field. There are some things about the core that have remained a mystery, though. A study from 2005 revealed that, although the inner core rotates in the same direction as the surface, it actually rotates slightly faster than the surface. That strange result joins another curious finding, from back in 1692, when astronomer Edmond Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) discovered that the Earth’s magnetic field ‘drifts’ towards the west by a few degrees every decade. A new study has finally offered an explanation for these two mysteries, tying everything together at last. It started with researchers not only confirming that the inner core rotates faster than the surface, but also finding that the outer core rotates in the opposite direction. To find out what’s going on, they used the Monte Rose supercomputer to run a simulation that was roughly 100 times more accurate than any previous model of the Earth’s core. The simulation revealed that it’s the Earth’s magnetic field that’s causing the layers of the core to spin like they do. It’s providing an extra little push to the inner core, driving the added spin towards the east, while at the same time an equal and opposite reaction to that push is causing the ‘backward’ spin of the outer core towards the west. The added bonus from their simulation is that it solved Halley’s mystery as well. Since the outer core slowly rotates towards the west, the circulations within the liquid metal also rotate in that direction, and the magnetic field ‘drifts’ along with them. The researchers are hoping that all of this will help scientists to better understand the behavior of the core, and thus the planet’s magnetic field. –Yahoo News

Feminism and evolution – Mama Nature’s answer to modern medicine

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by for a read.

For a while Mama Nature had to scratch her head about improvements in human survivability caused by hand washing, soap, and rudimentary understanding of disease.  Suddenly instead of weak and flawed specimens of humanity dying before reaching the age of reproduction, far larger numbers were surviving until they’d reproduced.  And Mama Nature knew the only outcome possible would be eventual de-evolution.  Possibly having to replace humans as the dominate species.

The culling programs Mama Nature’s always done on every species were falling apart.  Something was going to have to be done to point things back into the direction Mama Nature intended.

Bringing a species into a position of absolute dominance is one hell of a lot of work and takes a lot of patience on the part of Mama Nature.  Lizards, barn owls, duckbill platypuses and other candidates all lacked opposing thumbs.

So Mama Nature finally decided to try another alternative.  She invented feminism, which led inevitably to a lot of aborting instead of having to kill off youngsters by disease, hunger and filth.  Henceforth a foetus would have to convince the mother it was worth the price of admission before it was allowed to be born.

Concurrently in China Mama Nature tried a different method.  She just gave the parents incentives to kill off all their girl-babies.  This certainly had the salubrious outcome of reducing the number of female offspring living to reproduce, but Mama Nature considered it a bit broad-brush.  It threw the baby out with the bathwater insofar as improving the species.

Mama Nature’s experiment hasn’t been going long enough to establish whether it’s a 100% success, but it is certainly telling her a lot about human beings.  For instance, infants fathered by weakling beta males picked up in bars tended to be unconvincing for survival in the eyes of feminists.  And those fathered in best-she-could-do wedlock by weakling betas also didn’t offer up convincing arguments for survival.  Same with drunken beach orgies, impromptu filmings of porn flics, the whole range of sexual activities indulged without regard for genetic factors.

It’s going to take a while for the results of Mama Nature’s feminist experiment to reveal themselves, but whatever they might be, she’ll come out the other end with a better understanding of how to deal with human beings and modern medicine.

There’s still a possibility humanity won’t have to be replaced with barn owls.

Old Jules

If the shoe fits burn it off

shoe store xray machine

Hi readers. Thanks for coming by for a read this morning.

During the 1950s wisdom used to bunch itself up and spread itself around at the local barber shops.  That’s where I first learned God was going to destroy us the way He did the Tower of Babel and for the same reasons.  The USSR had just put Sputnik 1 into orbit.  Too damned high in the sky to be tolerated by God.

That barber shop was also where I first learned all this uproar about radiation was a damned Communist lie intended to scare everyone out of their wits.  The proof of it was just around the corner of the square at the shoe store.  They had a machine over there where you could put your foot in and they’d shine radiation on it so’s you could look right through your shoes at the bones of your feet.

Anyone dying from it?  Anyone getting sick?  Heck no!

That shoe store had it all over J.C. Penny Company because of that machine.  We kids would go in there and they’d let us look at our feet anytime we wanted to.  And when shoes were to be bought the salesman could look through the viewer on one side, mama look through it on the other, and the kid through the third.  The salesman could then point with the pointer that the shoe wasn’t squeezing the toes, or was, etc.  Everyone loved that machine.

But government interference ruined it, same as it ruins everything else.  They made them take that machine out of there so nobody could look at his feet anymore.

Here’s what the sissie fuddyduddies say was the reason:

“Although most of the dose was directed at the feet, a substantial amount would scatter or leak in all directions. Shielding materials were sometimes displaced to improve image quality, to make the machine lighter, or out of carelessness, and this aggravated the leakage. The resulting whole-body dose may have been hazardous to the salesmen, who were chronically exposed, and to children, who are about twice as radiosensitive as adults.[7] Monitoring of American salespersons found dose rates at pelvis height of up to 95 R/week, with an average of 7.1 R/week.[5] (Up to ~50 mSv/yr, avg ~3.7 mSv/yr effective dose)[5] A 2007 paper suggested that even higher doses of 0.5 Sv/yr were plausible.[8] The most widely accepted model of radiation-induced cancer posits that the incidence of cancers due to ionizing radiation increases linearly with effective (i.e. whole-body) dose at a rate of 5.5% per Sv.[9]

“Years or decades may elapse between radiation exposure and a related occurrence of cancer, and no follow-up studies of customers can be performed for lack of records. Without such an epidemiological study, it is impossible to conclude whether this machine actually caused any harm to customers.[5] Three shoe salespersons have been identified with rare conditions that might be associated with their chronic occupational exposure: a severe radiation burn requiring amputation in 1950,[10] a case of dermatitis with ulceration in 1957,[11] and a case of basal cell carcinoma of the sole in 2004.[8]”

Those guys sharing their wisdom at the barber shops are mostly all dead now.  I’m guessing if a person wants to get smart in Portales he has to go to a hair stylist.  Can’t help wondering what they’re talking about in those places.

Old Jules

The Great Tick Migration – Occupy Texas

Hi readers. I’m reblogging this because the original writing of it was a direct consequence of the events described in the previous post. J

So Far From Heaven

I wrote this when I lived in Socorro, New Mexico, but I’d guess it’s as timely and germane today as it was then.

It’s sad, but they have to migrate: there’s no good water in the Rio Grande anymore.  It’s all sewage passed downstream from Albuquerque and other towns. 
This was almost home to them. Their ancestors arrived with the first cattle drives from Texas in the 1880s. But finally they’ve had enough. Lemming-like they’ve decided as one to return home, Lone Star Ticks to the Lone Star State, same as those invading Confederate Texas humans had to finally stagger and stumble home when things took a turn for the worst..
This far south they’ve just begun to gather; just started to come out from under the grassleaves, the treebark, stragglers still coming out of the brush. The main migration gathering is further north in the Isleta lands…

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