Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Corpsman Chronicles IV: Major Major Trauma

I stopped by the local junior wallyworld yesterday to see if they'd kept their promise to restock the La Croix lime flavored sparkling water. They hadn't.

Walking back toward the front of the store I passed along the donut/cookie aisle and was surprised to see a rack of Hostess fruit pies. For some reason the thought of Hostess pies snapped me back to 1969.
1969 magazine ad

There was a little Ma & Pa grocery store just a block north of the school. Emerson Grocery. It was more of a shack than a store really; it had been converted from a granary, probably sometime between The War to End All Wars and The Sequel. Now before you guffaw too much, there are a good 60 homes in Kimball that began life as granaries. Back in the 20's and 30's becoming a home was not out of the reach of a hard working, savvy granary. Some granaries even hit the big time and became proto-convenience stores.

Anyway, back in 1969, whenever I managed to scrape up a dime, I'd head over to Emerson Grocery and get me a pie. Chocolate was my fave (and not exactly a fruit pie, eh?) but sold out the fastest. I usually had to settle for apple. Which was fine. With nine cents expended on the pie, I had a penny to whack in the gumball machine on the way out the door. Big red and purple gumballs. Cinnamon and grape. I loved the grape. Usually got cinnamon. Which actually paired better with apple and even chocolate Hostess pie. Life was good in 1969. A dime was worth 70 cents in 2015 bucks.

1969. Remember it well.

Well, not Woodstock exactly. I do, however, remember July 20.

We watched the coverage on the neighbor's color television; black and white moon video on a color tee-vee. A bit of a giggle, perhaps, for 2015 hipsters. But. It. Was. The. Moon. Landing. Let's see the 2015 worldwyde interwebs top that.

I remember the six weeks leading up to the moon landing also. I'd managed to catch a batch of impetigo, probably from, as the local Marcus Welby put it, "playing with those filthy Mexican kids."

Wasn't very PC of ol' Marc, now was it? He was right on the diagnosis, though, and right about the Mexican kids. They were filthy. Taught me to cuss right proper, a skill I rely on to this very day. They also gave me, indirectly via the S. Aureus  infection, an opportunity to grow a pair and man up about getting injections.

Because that was the cure for impetigo. Penicillin in the butt, once a week, for six weeks. The first go was a train wreck. I howled and fought and wasn't too proud to scream. The nurses ran off to "fetch Doctor," and Doctor was pissed.

But ol' Marc (no, he wasn't really Marcus Welby) pulled a neat trick on me. He treated me like a person rather than an object. Laid the cards on the table and let me work through the options. I didn't want to get the shots, but agreed that it was the proper course to take. Probably the first grown up decision I ever made. The genesis of "suck it up and drive on."

And now we flash forward to Major Major and his major trauma. In my usual disjointed and highly unreadable style, I'm gonna flash forward a bit too far to get the Major's unofficial call sign out of the way.

The Major, who will remain nameless and who will certainly have a different recollection of some of these events, was an Air Force F-15 driver. He came to the squadron as a Captain on an exchange tour. He was a great guy in my book and spent some time as my division officer. He also ran the squadron fat boy program for six months, and like every other fat boy officer, wanted to sign me up when her reviewed my record and saw five-eleven and 210 lbs. The book, you see, said five-eleven was s'posed to equal 180 lbs. and not a single pound more.

I was genetically blessed with massive, tree-trunk legs and rather more muscle mass than average. Low center of gravity. Wide track. Can't knock me down, even today in my advancing years. Which is not to say that I'm unfamiliar with the ground. I just get there on my own. But I digress.

The Major (then Captain) told me I was overweight, and I sucked him into my usual trap. "0500, Sir. SAR Hangar, wear your running shoes." If I could run the fat boy officer into the ground the squadron could waive me. I never spent more than 12 hours on the fat boy program, and this was no exception.

As you might imagine, the Major, as a Captain, was subjected to a good deal of ribbing from his steely-eyed Navy fighter pilot brothers. They hung the call sign "Tweet" on him. He was fine with the moniker, which stung his bros almost as much as his perennial position as near-top performer on the greenie board.

But again I digress. The Captain was promoted to Major in due course, right in the middle of his second cruise. One day the snooty squadron PN1 (E-6 Personnelman) was sucking up to him in the ready room and tried to address him by rank and name. Should have come out as "Major Smith" (nope, that's an alias) but came out "Major...Major."

Well, the ready room erupted in glee, and from then on, he was Major Major to the crowd who'd mostly never heard of Joseph Heller and had no idea that Catch-22 was a movie, let alone a novel. Being the most un-Major Major-like Major Major of all time made the whole thing a delight. It was really kinda neat. Good memory. But another digression.

Yo-yo back to Major Major as Captain Tweet. Easter Sunday. 1983. We'd only been back from deployment for a couple of weeks and I'd taken up my usual job in the NAS Oceana Branch Medical Clinic Emergency Room.

I had the duty that day as I'd traded with a married fellow so he could drink beer and grill steaks go to church

At about 0830 the ER doors whisked open and Captain Tweet dashed in, blanket-wrapped bundle of bloody little girl in his arms, distraught wife in tow. He was beside himself and deep in the throes of panic. He retained an edge of sanity and reason, but was clearly very close to losing it completely.

After you've worked in trauma for a while, you get a sense of the difference between "emergency" and "urgency." A key indicator can be stress and panic. I knew Captain Tweet as a pretty darned unflappable fellow, so his panic put me immediately in emergency mode.

As I grabbed the five year-old child and hustled her into the treatment room, the Captain filled me in with one of the most remarkable sentences I've ever heard, which went something like this:

"We were ready for church but Cynthia went back in the house for a different purse and Abby and I were pushing the swing back and forth and I swung it too hard and she missed and hit her in the head and cracked her head open and I can see her brain in there oh please Doc is she gonna make it can we medevac her or something she was fine one second and now just look at her oh my god..."

I guess you kinda had to be there, but replaying that scene in my mind 32 years later brings a lump to my throat and a sting to my eyes. Daddy Tweet loved his little girl more than anything else in the world.

While the Captain vented I went into automatic assessment mode. The little girl was conscious and alert, very quiet, and obviously very frightened. She looked at me from big blue eyes which featured a neat round hole right between them, just at the top of her nose. About the diameter of a nickel, it was gaping open and appeared to be very deep. With the illumination of the overhead light I could see glistening connective tissue at the bottom of the hole, about a centimeter down. The wound had already stopped bleeding.

I breathed a sigh of relief and offered up a quick prayer of thanks. The little girl's injury looked horrific but was really superficial. The skin and muscles are in tension on that part of the face and even the most minor laceration there will often gape and look awful. Bleed a lot, too. But looking awful is not the same as being awful. I could fix the gaping wound with a half-dozen stitches and in two weeks time she wouldn't even have a scar. It would be easy and nearly painless. The real trick would be to keep Captain and Mrs. Tweet from going into shock and Abby from giving into the fear her Daddy's panic was causing.

I turned to the cute little HN (E-3 Hospitalman) who'd assigned herself to be my assistant for the day, and said, "Get Benny, please."

Benny was the ER Physician, a Lieutenant Commander, Flight Surgeon, and trauma specialist. As the cute HN hustled off, I winked at the little girl and got just the ghost of a grin in response. We were gonna be okay. I was already more worried about Mom and Dad.

Benny arrived, speed-read the chart, took in the scene with a longish glance, noted my slight head bob and eyebrow lift toward the parents, and took them in tow.

I turned to the little girl and said, "You didn't want to go to Sunday school anyway, did you?" I got a more confident grin in return. Over the next five minutes Abby and I negotiated a contract. She had a boo-boo that needed to be fixed, and it was going to hurt a little bit at the beginning, but I'd keep the pain to a minimum. She would be in control of the process and I would stop whenever she wanted. We agreed that Mommy and Daddy were very scared for her and that she could help them by being a big girl.

The cute little HN came back to help, and we were soon ready to proceed. I spent a lot of time explaining everything to Abby and getting her in a comfortable position. I cleaned up the wound site and carefully painted it with betadine, taking care to keep the bacteriostat out of her eyes. I swabbed the wound edges with a sterile topical anesthetic solution to keep the pinch of the needle minimized, then carefully infiltrated the tissue with two percent lidocaine, I used a dental syringe and a very fine 27 gauge needle. Abby tensed up just a tad at the sting of the lidocaine but quickly relaxed as the pinch abated.

I scrubbed and gloved while the cute little HN set up my suture tray. Abby and I talked about five year-old stuff. I learned that Abby was short for Abigail, that she didn't like to wear a dress, that the Easter bunny isn't "real like Santa," that the swings get bird poop on the seats, and that she was learning to read and could count "to a hunnerd frontwards." She thought my clinic nickname, Mikey, was "kinda silly." She'd seen the commercial, and it was about a little kid.

As we chatted away I tucked an eye drape in place and charged my needle holder with 5-0 chromic. I kept up a running explanation of what I was doing as I pulled the subcutaneous tissue together with three quick interrupted sutures, then switched to 7-0 nylon and closed the skin with three more simple sutures. Took about 10 minutes.

Off came the eye drape, followed by a careful cleanup and a dab of bacitracin ointment.

"So what do you think," I asked, "was that as bad as you thought it would be?"

Abby's eyes got big. "It's done? Can I see?"

I walked her over to the little treatment room head and lifted her up so she could inspect my work in the mirror. The laceration was now just a thin line on the bridge of her nose interrupted by three tiny black knots trailing six tiny black whiskers.

"You can come back on Wednesday and I'll take the stitches out."

"Will it hurt?"

"It'll tickle," I said.

"Okay, I gotta go potty now."

A flush and a hand  wash later and I pointed Abby toward Benny's office. She skipped (literally skipped) off to show Mom and Dad her stitches. It was a good thing she'd hit the head first, because she got hugged pretty thoroughly.

I got to do a lot of enjoyable and satisfying stuff as a navy corpsman. It would be silly to rank those things on a list, because my experiences were so varied. But some of my most cherished memories are of fixing boo-boos in the ER. For whatever reason, I seemed to have a natural talent for connecting with kids, and when I was on the beach I was always more or less the go-to guy when a youngster needed a shot or an IV or stitches or some other scary and potentially painful procedure. Maybe I got it from my experience with Marcus Welby. All I ever did was be honest and up front with the kids and I always dealt with them as people rather than as squirmy, bawling abstractions. Seemed to work.

By the time Tweet and Cynthia and Abby headed out the door, the cute little HN was fixin' to whip a move on me.

"I can't believe that little girl let you sew her up with no fuss at all," she enthused.

"Guess I've just got a way with the ladies," I said.

Which the cute little HN was willing to believe.

And which elicited a deep belly laugh from behind the almost closed door of Benny's office.

Life was good in 1983, too.

Saturday, March 28, 2015


There are about 60 species of mammals residing on the EJE Ranch, alongside circa 100 bird species, a dozen reptile species, a half-dozen amphibian species, and a gajillion insect species. That's just the fauna. As to flora, there are easily 25 grass species, 15 tree species, and about 60 forb species.

Nothing special about the ranch. Same stuff on both sides of the fence. The thing that's special, IMO, is nature.

As a rancher, I'm sometimes willing to let my non-ranching fellows assume that my life is that of the prototypical rugged individualist, dressed up like the Marlboro Man, galloping across the prairie on my trusty steed en route to imposing my will on nature. Big tough guy, large and in charge.

It isn't like that. Isn't like that at all.

In reality, I rely utterly on nature to provide the things I need to raise cattle and make a life. The very thought of bossing nature around is ludicrous.

As it turns out, I'm a simple farmer, not very much advanced beyond my neolithic forebears.

I've got a few modern tools and techniques, and because of them I lead a more comfortable and rather more certain life, but I'm by no means whatever in charge of anything nature does. I can do a few tricks to make my lot easier and a bit more predictable, but I cannot make the rains come or the grasses grow or the calf embryos quicken. Nature does that.

Now how did that introduction get out of control? This is what happens when you give a caveman the internet! My intent was to introduce the theme of 'man as part of nature rather than separate from nature.' And to 'splain why I feel a bit sad about shooting that coyote yesterday, a sadness which is not in any way guilt, and which is profoundly comforting.

The coyote is one of those 60-odd mammal species inhabiting the ranch. Canis latrans (latin for 'noisy damn dog') is the native canid of North America. Coyotes were here long before the advent of manifest destiny, and almost certainly long before the first humans crossed into the Americas from Asia.
Coyote on the prairie. Wikimedia Commons.

Coyotes are in many ways the poster children of nature's success. They are extremely well fitted to their environment. They are hunters and scavengers, and sometimes even cannibalistic.

Coyotes are part of nature, and therefore I embrace them. I am part of nature too, and occasionally the coyote and I bump into each other in our shared quest for survival. Occasionally the coyote prevails, and I lose a calf. Other times I prevail.

Yesterday as I hiked out across the prairie, scouting spring nesting sites (remember those bird species?) I came across a large coyote. I had the wind, and he wasn't sure what I was. From his vantage point on a small hillock 250 yards away, he peered closely at me, trying to determine whether I was a threat or not.

Since the pasture I was hiking is one of this year's calving grounds, I was indeed a threat.

I was hiking sans rifle, and carried only my Smith & Wesson .40 Shield. The Shield is surprisingly accurate for a little black gun, and fully capable of putting a 180 grain jacketed hollow point into a man-sized target at 250 yards. So long as the operator does his part.

Although he was big for a coyote, he was nowhere near man sized. Nevertheless, I was fairly certain I could hit him, so I took careful aim and fired. The Shield, BTW, is a joy to shoot, with the best DAO trigger I've ever experienced. At any rate, about three-quarters of a second after I fired the coyote leaped into the air and took off like a scalded cat for a nearby juniper grove. Three-quarters of a second after his reaction, I heard the "THWACK" of a solid hit.

I found the coyote about 15 yards inside the tree line, rapidly cooling toward ambient air temperature. The round had taken him just behind the diaphragm and had exited just in front of his left hind leg. As it traversed his belly, it had obviously disrupted the great vessels of the abdomen, and he quickly exsanguinated and expired.
Coyote. Wikimedia Commons.

He was a big, healthy, successful beast. Because of that, and because he was earning his living in my calving pasture, he was a threat. When nature's critters threaten each other, there are winners and losers. That's life in the real world.

Because nature chose to endow me with the capability to reason and ponder, I'm a bit sad at the coyote's demise. At the same time, I recognize that the coyote inhabits the same circle of life as I, and that at some point I, too, will find my mortal husk cooling toward ambient air temperature. It's the way of things.

I'm also a bit chuffed at making the shot.

Is that a paradox? I don't know, you'll have to ask nature.

More smartphone magic. Enjoy the day!

Friday, March 27, 2015

Phoning it in

Random thoughts and impulses blasting through my squash this morning. Some of them original to me, some stolen from real people.

I have a chromebook which I like very much. I've become quite enamored of the google drive as well, and I'm even learning how to use google sheets. That said, I've developed this goofy mental tic regarding the chromebook's battery. A long time ago the internet told me that to maximize computer battery life, you should let them discharge completely before recharging. And you shouldn't leave them plugged in. Something about the battery developing a faulty "memory" regarding it's charge. I've no idea if this is true and I haven't bothered to research it.

Nevertheless, I find myself letting the battery completely discharge before plugging the computer back in. Well, I actually try to catch it at one percent. But I usually get caught up in composing and fail to monitor the meter closely enough. So while banging on the keyboard like a chimpanzee the screen suddenly goes dark. Then I have to plug in, turn on, and navigate my way back to where I was. Yep, I do that. But I never completely discharge my phone, which is also a computer I like a lot and want to carefully maintain. Freaky, innit?

Robert Heinlein on the scientific method:

"There are but two ways of forming an opinion in science. One is the scientific method; the other, the scholastic. One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all important, and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything, and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority."

Mark Twain on this blog post:

"PERSONS attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."
BY ORDER OF THE AUTHOR, Per G.G., Chief of Ordnance.

And finally, a non-spectacular sunset made interesting via the magic of a phone app.

Havew a superb day, all.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Spring has sprung

It's a rare thing indeed when the first day of spring is warm, sunny, mild and pleasant. In this part of the country anyway.

No, here across the southwest Panhandle of Nebraska, the month of March is usually quite cool, quite windy, and rather unpleasant. The month almost always produces a few "teaser" days that are almost really nice and serve to get the springtime juices flowing, but on balance, March is usually winter's last stand.

Over the last five years March 20 has averaged a high of 40 and low of 27 with sleet, snow, or freezing rain on four of those five first days of spring. The exception was 2012, when the high on March 20 was 73 and the low 41. A bright sunny lively day. Just like yesterday, the first day of spring 2015.


Well, yesterday was too nice to not enjoy. If we end up with a drought we end up with a drought. Here are a few video snippets from the ranch. Mostly boring stuff. Well, all boring stuff. This is what happens when you give an old guy a smart phone and access to yew-toob.

Nice day to stroll through the cows. They'll begin calving in about three weeks.

Always chores to be done. Nice weather makes them a pleasure. This windmill has a freeze-broken pipe. I'll patch it to get by until the next time the well service company pulls it to replace the leathers.

Fence crawler cow decided it was too nice not to visit the winter wheat field.

It was too nice to only work so I spent a bit of time and energy on a much needed hike.

A sit-down for afternoon tea with my coming-yearling calves.

And finally, Nona enjoying (?!?) her monthly peanut butter treat. That'll get me arrested.

Enjoy your spring!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Music Row Straits

Thanks to Jon Spencer for pointing me to this brilliant stuff. Gotta find time for more! Off to work.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

World's weakest blogger

Good to be the best at something, nein?

I'm blatantly stealing this from URR over at the Track Toad's Place (with apologies Brad, some of us never grow up).

It's funny as hell, and useful as well.

At a slight tangent, Sarge mentioned yesterday that he should have learned to play the guitar, and posted up a Money for Nothing video. Being not nearly as clever or as funny as I think I am, I commented that I'd always thought the line went, "tune the radar."

Turns out that I was committing a Mondegreen. Well, maybe perpetrating is a better word. And that I'm almost certainly a cereal mumpsimuser. If that's a word, which it probably isn't. At any rate, Sarge et. al. allowed me to take a delightful side trip into the vast knowledge available in the interwebs, and for that I am grateful.

So grateful that I rewrote the the entire some of a couple lines of the lyric. It's weak as hell but slightly amusing, at least to my fourth grade sensibility.

Which I now present here for the very first time in the history of the universe. Followed by a personally more favorite Dire Straits video.

Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it
You tune the radar on the eff sixteen
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Getchew money for nothin' getchew chicks for free
Now that ain't workin', that's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya, them guys ain't dumb
Maybe get a frostbite on the little finger
Maybe take a hammer on the thumb

We gotta install microwave ovens
Custom kitchen deliveries
We gotta move these refrigerators
We gotta move these colour TV's

See the little Airman with the earring and the makeup
Yeah, buddy, that's his own hair
That little Airman got his own jet airplane
That little Airman he ain’t got a care

microwaves x 2

I shoulda learned to tune the radar
I shoulda learned to wire them plugs
Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
Man, we could have some fun
And he's up there, what's that? ‘Lectronic noises?
Bangin' on the switches like a chimpanzee
That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
Getchew money for nothin', getchew chicks for free
Now that ain't workin', that's the way you do it
You tune the radar on the eff sixteen
That ain't workin', that's the way you do it

Getchew money for nothin' getchew chicks for free...

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Did you ever wonder why...

The late Andy Rooney used to ask that question, and sometimes he got a pretty good rant going. I tried to find a good video of that, but my google fu seems to be busted.

Anyway, here's a bit of a rant. I promise not to do this very often.

So, did you ever wonder why any of us are still alive? We’re each of us, after all, faced with extraordinary and immediate existential threats on a daily basis. At least that’s what the major media and almost every government agency love to tell us, anyway. I think the only exception is the IRS, who simply remind us that no matter what we're slaughtered by, Uncle Sugar will still get her pound of flesh.

Monday morning Nebraska Panhandle residents received this chilling alert:


My goodness, we’re all lucky to be alive! Forty mph winds have been known to, er, well… blow paper around?

What is the major malfunction with the National Weather Service? For some reason they’ve decided that their job is no longer to study and forecast climate and weather. Their new and vastly improved job is to save lives.

They've no training in real lifesaving, so they’ve taken the approach of trying to frighten people into permanently hunkering down in the safety of their homes, so that no one will ever, ever, ever be laid low by natural atmospheric phenomena.

Do you think these bozos ever heard about chicken little or the boy who cried wolf?

Does the NWS understand that the natural consequence of publishing endless sensational warnings and alerts is that the public will (and now mostly does) ignore the daily and predictable hysteria? I doubt the question ever occurred to them. They’re too busy saving lives, you see.

Lord love a duck.


At a slight tangent, did you ever wonder why it is, that if the science of global warming is settled, no one in science or government can point to a single piece of evidence and say, "there you are, proof." Not valid or honest evidence anyway.

The UN, the White House, the NWS, NOAA, and the thoroughly discredited paleoclimatology crowd are now predicting the looming threat of a megadrought. For the uninitiated, megadrought is part of the global warming industry. Along with hurricanes, tornadoes, snow, rain, puddles, 40 mph winds, meteor showers, etc. The terrible megadrought disaster will arrive any moment with the complete and sudden cessation of all rainfall west of the Mississippi River. The megadrought, directly caused by CO2 emissions generated by greedy private corporations (especially Monsanto) and greedy, nasty, murdering corporate farms, will last thousands of years. Everyone on Earth will die a horrible, lingering death. And develop dry, itchy skin.

Humanity has only a slim chance to survive, and only if we listen to and heed the warnings and advice offered by government-funded scientists to, well, to do whatever the government tells us to do. As soon as they come up with a plan. Which will be soon. Any day now.

How do we know that this awful calamity is looming on the near horizon? Well, the evidence is right there for everyone to see, lodged in the same faulty data that gave us the “hockey stick” global warming graph and allowed us to just barely survive the catastrophic heat wave we’ve been suffering while the climate cooled over the last 18 years.

Hockey stick

The famous hockey stick was a graph produced in 2002 by University of Massachusetts geoscientist Michael Mann and his conspirators colleagues, purporting to show that the Earth suddenly began to heat up about 100 years ago, at the onset of the industrial revolution (and coincidentally, the development of evil corporations and evil modern farming techniques). Clearly, said Mann and his conspirators colleagues, the cause was evil corporate carbon dioxide.

A pretty picture, but for a theory to be correct, it has to agree with the facts. “But look at my pretty graph,” said Mann. “It shows the warming! It’s absolute proof!”
You're all gonna die!!!
Not so fast, Mikey

Canadian scientists Stephen McIntyre and Ross McKitrick saw Mann’s graph and read his papers regarding anthropogenic global warming and decided that the problem was one they should be working on. The predictions were grim, after all, and if true, the world was going to need scientists to understand the problem and provide solutions to help mitigate the looming disaster.

But there was a problem. The graph and the theory just didn't add up. Puzzled by this, McIntyre and McKitrick asked Mann to provide his raw data and the mathematical models used to produce the findings. The data were allegedly in a set of more than 70 different climate records, and the statistical analytical method was allegedly a straightforward version of principal component analysis, or PCA. Mann refused to provide the data and models.

The Canadian scientists were able to obtain part of the program that Mann used, which was available on an FTP server. They found serious problems. Not only did the program not do conventional PCA, it actually weighted the data to provide a predetermined outcome.

Mann’s PCA program was designed to emphasize any data that would produce a hockey stick shaped outcome, and to suppress all data that did not. McIntyre and McKitrick checked the program by inputting meaningless test data that had no up or down trends, a routine check which is widely used to test statistical modeling procedures. From this flat, vanilla data Mann’s program produced a hockey stick graph.

As it turns out, Mann and his conspirators fellows wrote a program which ignored all data which would not produce a result showing sudden and catastrophic global warming beginning with onset of the industrial revolution. Mann’s clever program would produce a  hockey stick graph regardless of the data entered.

Think that’s bad? It gets worse.

McIntyre and McKitrick sent their detailed analysis to Nature magazine for publication, where it was extensively refereed, or “peer reviewed.” And rejected. They then published their paper on a web page, where honest scientists were shocked to find a laundry list of blatantly dishonest problems with the research.

Why was the McIntyre and McKitrick paper not published in Nature? It was peer reviewed, and the review reports were published. The reviewers found the paper valid and without scientific flaw. According to the editorial board, however, it wasn't “important enough” to publish.

This all happened more than a decade ago. In the mean time, instead of warming, the planet has cooled, even though CO2 levels have increased slightly.

Think about that.


Now comes a new report, from Drs. Ben Cook, Toby Ault and Jason Smerdon, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In a nutshell, the report predicts a looming megadrought across the Great Plains and Southwest. A drought of such monumental and catastrophic proportions that everyone will probably die. Unless we do what the government says. When they get around to it.

The report comes complete with a hockey stick of its own, too. Generated largely from the very same data used by Mann and his fellows, and almost certainly using the same flawed and dishonest PCA tools. You can’t actually see the data or the modeling software, of course. But once you've waded through their paper and looked at the graph, you can pretty well rest assured that you know what’s going on here.
Look familiar?
What is it with these guys?


This isn't about climate change. It’s about lying, cheating and stealing. It’s about a group of so-called scientists who have made a conscious decision to lie about what they do and to publish fraudulent findings. It’s also about the government and the media/entertainment complex who are partners in the scam. And ultimately, it’s about the people who allow themselves to be lied to.

Climate change is, of course, real. We live on a dynamic planet with a dynamic climate. Our climate has never not been changing. We rely on science and government funding of science to help us navigate the changing climate. Science and the government aren't delivering. Well, not delivering the truth anyway.

Neither science nor our nation are designed to be abused this way. What are you going to do about it?

Monday, March 16, 2015

I thought there would be Naval Air in here!

Ha-ha-ha! Wanna give God a giggle? Make some plans!

I really wanted to have a good half of my posts centered on Naval Air. It was a big part of my life and I've got a metrick butt-ton (MBT) of sea stories*, some of which are even true, more or less.

For example, "This is no $#!+. I was, 'working' the roof on Midway (CV-41) BITD, and I found myself, no $#!+, strapping my mom into a jet."
Peg "Fishstick" Evertson in the mighty War Buckeye, ready to taxi to the cat on USS Midway, circa 2012. 
And furthermore, over at Sarge's Place, Juvat has a great tale of bleed air and sims. Which reminds me. "This is no $#!+, I spent a little time in the right seat of the Intruder, and I plan to share the details of that good fortune (and a picture of the scar it left) someday, but not today, because I'm short on time. Anyway, we were launching out of Oceana in a gaggle, heading for Roosevelt Roads and an Orange Air Det. Our jet was heavy with gas, a full internal bag and 8,000 lbs on the wings. As we waddled down the runway, there was a bang as we neared 100 knots, followed by a master caution for bleed air. Followed by PC1 and PC2 bleeding out. Followed by a fire light. Then the other fire light."

I'll flesh that one out in the near (more of less) future. As Juvat noted in his post, the BOLD FACE for bleed air is rather sparse. Basically GTFO.**

Spoiler alert! I'm still here.

But I digress. Spring and fencing.

I kicked the yearlings over to spring grass yesterday. These are calves born last spring, which I've kept over the winter rather than sell. The plan is to put some "free" pounds on them by grazing over the summer, then sell them in the fall for a huge profit. Will that scheme work? I'll get back to ya in the fall.
Young cattle are a joy, but they come with an attitude. This one's always sticking his tongue out at me. Click to embiggen and get the full juvenile effect.
There's always one...
They seem to like their new home. Especially the tender green springtime grass. Down at the bottom of the gully behind them is the place where a truck came to grief over the winter. Did I mention that I-80 runs right smack through the middle of this pasture?
Picked the wrong place to run off the road. LOOK AT MY FENCE!!!
All better. Don't get me started on NDOR and insurance companies.
The fence wrecked by the truck is fixed, but the rest of the eight miles of perimeter fence on this pasture needed attention. We live in a dynamic world. Frost heave, wind, tumbleweeds, sunshine and rain, snow drifts, antelope and deer, cattle (?), oxidation, time. Every spring it takes a bit of fixin' to make it right.

And the fixin' takes time. Which I've been managing poorly, at least as far as the blog is concerned. I do get a few pictures, though, so it's not all a loss. And I'm working on the time management thing.

Random pics from yesterday.

Sigh squared. Thank goodness for recyclers.
Oh that's a pretty spring picture! Better in person.
Kimball, 1 Mile. Dump your firetrucking cans there, please.
And now, if you'll excuse me, I've had more than enough coffee so I really oughta be fixin' fence. Cheers! 

*A fairy tale begins "once upon a time," but a sea story begins "this is no $#!+."

** Get The Firetruck Out. Can be taken two ways, and often is.