Monday, December 14, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
I have been looking at this issue for a few years. And like everything that is important to protect - we humans neglect because, well, I have yet to understand! I have been thinking that really it has something to do with the 'peacock' in all of us. All show and no 'go'!
The peacock or peafowl is from India. I have read and heard that some Indian tigers used to hunt these birds... not very sporting, I suppose, but maybe it was because they pissed the tigers off. Being all, 'I prettier then YOU!' and 'I don't have to hide from tigers cause I am -THIS BIG-!' or 'I don't have to have a beautiful voice because I look like- voooosh - THIS! NANNY NAH NAH!' ROAR! yummmm.... And like tigers and peacocks - nature get us back.
People liked the birds and revered them. Saw their gods in their feathers and riding on their backs. People did not like tigers. They saw their neighbors and children and farm animals mauled by them. The tiger is now, nearly gone but the peacocks have multiplied and made themselves nuisances in far away places such as in Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Now, if only there was a bigger creature out there that would fall in love with humans and their outrageous consumptive aptitudes and our ability to throw up our hands like the peacock and say, 'I didn't do it! It happened all by itself!' But... we don't. We try the peacock thing with each other and some folks fall for it. Most just keep eating.
So. Here we are. In a very serious drought situation. We really do know what to do but, we won't. Agencies like the CIty of Pasadena tell folks to only water their lawns once a week. I don't have a problem with this announcement - but, it is seen by the majority of people as only temporary - to morrow they will turn the streets into Slip-and-slides. Then other folks, who are the Water Problem Deniers say, that it's the water agencies fault and they are only lining their pockets and raising rates because we aren't buying enough water.
Here is a little video of our aquifer - where we store our water in the San Gabriel Valley. It is said this the aquifer under the San Gabriel River supplies only a million people... the water comes from rain and snow melt from the mountains behind it, MWD adds its water (Colorado, Owens, Sacramento Delta), and the rain the permeates the ground directly.
In 2004, we were in the last year of a six year, drought. I flew over the 'Durbin Pit' next to the 605 freeway for the video, Ya Don't Miss the Water (you can watch it by clicking the links on the right). Here is a clip showing the pit. Look at the size of this pit and realize there are several other monstrous pits in the area. The water you see in the pit is actually the top of the water table of the San Gabriel Valley Aquifer. Be aware of the depth by what you see at the sides of the pit.
IN 2005 we had a 100 year storm in the San Gabriel Mountains, which means that the mountains received more rain then on 'average years' and was near the 'record' for rain about 100 years ago. It's not really a very accurate method for measurement, but it is used by various agencies and insurance companies to mark, with a broad stroke, where normal rain fall is to 'more then normal' rain fall. Insurance companies use it to increase your flood insurance if you buy a house in areas deemed in the 50 to 100 year flood zone (delineated by marks left by older storms in soils, vegetation, rocks and/or described by records and finally, by looking the depth of the land to sea level (water flows down stream and pools in depressions).
I have been photographing the river and the mountains and looking for changes. Here is the San Gabriel Dam (north of Morris) following Route 38). TOo see differences check out my older posts.
This is what the San Gabriel Dam looked like November 26 of this year. First, looking north and uphill... Then, look at the next photo from that day and notice the ridges formed by erosion when the water was at higher levels... Can you see the grasses poking up in the center? You can see the bottom of the dam.
And now, here is a video of the Durbin Pit from a ridge looking over into the pit from the north east side...
What all of this says is that now, right now!! this time....we have REALLY created for ourselves a huge pile of doody for ourselves. One that we may not be able to fix or create work-arounds. Not watering our lawns but once a week is a really VERY pathetic reaction to this drought by the water agencies. What we need to do is re-evaluate at how all of us use our water everyday - including corporations that use the water and who decides to expose our aquifer to the air and thereby... increasing the loss of our drinking water by evaporation by the hundreds of acre-feet. (Why people are NOT screaming here is beyond me...) And, we have to re-evaluate how we build our cities here in the West (and other places now that the Locomotive, Climate Change is starting to pull out of the station). We can no longer think we can keep adding to our population without changing where we live and what we live in... no more - everyone gets a house, anymore.
And by the way... as the video ends... notice the size of the cars on the 605 freeway and see the pile of concrete that was used by the PIT DIGGERS to shore of the side of the pit. It will not be long before the 605 Freeway will be driving INTO the pit. The mud pit by then... maybe what? next year?
Monday, December 07, 2009
Recently, I have been protecting my mother, who is now, not able to do the book keeping like paying bills or even to read and understand her bills. The Banks and the Telephone Companies are rapping at her door, trying to scam her of her money. Welcome to Amerika!
Here is one gal who stood up against her boss, B of A, and did the humane thing .... watch!
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Sometimes, it is just not nice to take a picture... and also, it's wonderful to test your memory and draw what you saw a few days ago....
I flew back to Dayton, Ohio because a friend, mentor and my professor was retiring. Also, I wanted to say 'hello' to two other professors (one emeritus, now) who were also important to me as a human and a scientist.
Getting cheap tickets for flying is a chore.... not the buying but the using. Most of the time the flight is packed and I get the seat that doesn't go back... Horrible, because I can't fit in the seat. My legs rub the chair ahead of me and I usually need to get up and stretch out my body parts after a half an hour or so.
So, here we were, squashed, flying, and now it was time to offer us our dinner hotdogs.... ugh! This poor little stewardess, who at the ripe age of somewhere in her 60s, was having to look the part of the 'cutie' and push that damn cart. She newly had her hair done. The hair was bleached. The eyes were well outlined - perhaps a couple of times. The lips were smeared liberally with bright red goo. Poor little lady. The hair may have been an idea to make her look like she had lots of hair but, it really made her look ... "Bozo-esque". She never looked up at any of us. She just offered the penile formed mystery meat and then took the plastic boxes from our trays.... I hope she finds a day when she doesn't have to do this kind of work...
This is a different story... this is what has happened to Dayton, Ohio. Here is a post from a blog I read all the time.... The conversation began about Verizon attaching bill for unwanted products and 'services'. then someone asked about where does all the money from these big corporate scams.... and I said...
The easy part, really... "Where does the money go?"
Executives in BIG Co.s get many kinds of 'retirement funds'. Many in the millions. We are talking in the tens of funds way back in my day... who knows what they get NOW!!! IT's no longer the stock options any more... it's the 'special' investments' that go to the top few.
I just returned from Dayton - where the husk of NCR remains, to find a community of people either on one side or the other of the money fence. The other, I met trying out their brand new bus hub service - they are hungry. I find it interesting that the majority of long time residents, depending on what ethnicity you are - do not venture into the 'other' part of town. It goes both ways for a reason... I experienced this when I lived there. Anyone with pigmentation in their skin that drove down the Main street (the upper crusties spot) was summarily pulled over and told to go back to 'their' side of town. Now, we are talking about a town that at one time had a couple of million or more people. A town that invited George Carlin because of the 'in-grove' communities....
I don't know what happened, except that most of the big companies left for third world workers, and now after GM Truck division and NCR moving (top executives live in the more 'tony' New York... who don't want to accidently rub anything with the lower crowd). What is left is a Pepsi factory somewhere (I talked to a few folks on the bus about that)... and maybe... ??? I went to Cuba at the end of Nov. and they are hungry (lost 1/3 of their calories after the 'special period' when the USSR took a nose dive)... but, they were working and were obviously not as starved and wild for food as the Dayton lower class.
I did buy a family a month worth's of food in Cuba when I was asked. The mother and daughter dragged me into a tiny grocery store and they piled on the dried milk and soup. The little girl wanted a package of cookies.
We are looking at disasters here in the US>>> It's not just the Rust Belt anymore... I just don't understand those jolly bunch at the top who turn their back on so many.