Monday, February 27, 2006

Who's ready? only about 3 months now.


2-27-06 SHORT HILLS: Everything in Vermont got fixed just in time to pack up and return to NJ. Lily got pretty good on the board. Now that March is in sight, the weather god has remembered that it’s wintertime. We have sun, cold and wind. The Winchell factor is 7° here and –9° in Vermont. The dogs couldn’t care less, they’re sleeping in the sun on the patio while I will only be exposed to the outside air between building and car.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Sorry, Dude.

2-21-06 VERMONT: We arrived on Saturday to find the power off on a few miles of our road and our generator running. The neighbors told us that the power had been out for about a day. Thanks to the generator we have essential services. We went to the block party that night at the Spencer’s. Their generator was running everything including outside lights—a brazen display. They had a bonfire and fireworks in the center of their pond. The bonfire was great considering that it was about 5°F and windy. Fireworks are always exciting even if it's just to celebate February the 18th.

The guests broke down into two groups, those with and those without generators who had to leave earlier to stoke their fires. They also carried water buckets from the Spencer’s because without power the well pump doesn’t work. This means no flushing. It was a insight into the pre-electric past.

The power went on late that night and we began to see the rest of the problems. The alarm system went crazy with beeping. One of the satellite TV boxes didn’t work. One phone line didn’t work. We have been having a lot of fun waiting for service people to come and repair all the stuff. Country living!

Apparently, there was a severe thunderstorm preceding the front on Friday. That’ll do it. Fried circuits.

Aside form all that, the weather has warmed a bit, the pond is perfect for skating and usable because the snow cover is less than an inch. Lily has her second snowboard lesson today at the skyway. Dude! I’ll go along and do some teleskiing while Judy and Anna wait for Verizon.

Friday, February 17, 2006


2-17-06 SHORT HILLS: Several warm days and the snow is gone except for the plowed piles. It is very warm and windy today and lots of small branches litter the yard. We lost the top of the holly tree, but it was a secondary shoot and the tree looks ok. Vermont tomorrow with Anna and Lily. We did have a nice sunset.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


I am not sure what all the fuss is about. The guy Cheney shot was a republican lawyer from Texas. There must be plenty of them left. Anyway both of them were armed, the other guy should have shot first, its Texas. Ex-Senator Alan Simpson said it was the victim's fault for getting in the way, sound familiar. Maybe Cheney thought it was his old buddy Abramoff, but he would have been singing. The difference between 41 and 43, with 41 the VP was the quail. Does that work?

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Storm

2-13-06 SHORT HILLS: We got plowed out sometime during the night. I tidied up this am and opened a walking path down the drive and cleared the street drains and the fire hydrant. I guess I don’t have to go to the gym today.
The TV news weather reporters said that the storm was as intense as it was and that the load of snow was so big because of the high ocean temperature, relatively high I guess. Another sign of global warming as if Rita and Katrina weren’t enough.
Of course the administration continues to deny warming. John Tierney in the NY Times, he is a Bush apologist, said yesterday that a little warming would be nice and that the Kyoto Treaty should be ignored by the U.S. because it would be bad for business.
The climate models are not perfect and are not in complete agreement, but if the carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, which seems inevitable, the planet will get hotter. As long as more and more oil, or coal, is burnt, more CO 2 will be added to the atmosphere. Consider the rise of the economies of India and China and ask yourself more or less oil will be used in the future.
It will get hotter either fast or very fast compared to the nature cycles of global heating or cooling. The Earth has been hotter than now; hot enough to be ice free with ocean levels hundreds of feet higher than at present. It has also been colder, cold enough for the ice caps to reach the tropics.
The big difference is that those temperature extremes developed over several millennia and not over the course of a century. The slow change permits the biota, the plants and animals, to evolve, adapt or migrate and thus survive. Tree species, for instance, that grow in temperate regions could, with lots of time, move northward or higher in altitude to survive when their current environment became too hot or to dry. Imagine the southern U.S. as a desert except where the ocean invaded to reach Atlanta and St. Louis. Think of New Orleans and then think about what the costs would be for a series of disasters many times worse. Maybe the cost of the Kyoto Treaty wouldn’t be so terrible after all.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Snow Day

A whole winter's snow in one day. We had 16" a few hours ago and more still coming. It has been a very mild winter until today. The daffodil and lily stalks were up. Hydrangea and lilac buds were just starting to swell. The yard has been muddy from the rain and warm weather so we put bales and bales of straw down to keep the dogs from tracking mud in the house. No mud today. Snow is prettier than mud.
The snow is not only deep but heavy and wet. We tried shoveling out the driveway but gave up after 10 minutes. No sign of the plowers yet. It has been windy, but not terribly cold at 27°.