My Sentiments Exactly

George Carlin was a magnificent comedian who used common sense to make fun of the human race. His intellect was far greater than that of the entire liberal population.

I would love to hear George’s monologue on global warming. He is right about the conceit of those who actually believe that a life form as insignificant as a human could have any impact on changing the planet.

The only positive I see coming out of the global warming threat is that power companies are becoming more efficient and thus less polluting. More companies are pouring money into developing better batteries and solar panels, but the bottom line is this: If we can buy energy for less from a coal burning power plant we will continue to do it. Our money is better spent on having fun. In another hundred years the electric car will probably have enough range and life to warrant spending money for. We will still need coal burning power plants to supply energy to all the battery chargers needed to keep our cars running. Solar panels may someday be made in the form of building materials. All new houses made from these solar absorbing roofs and walls will make them self sufficient. What will we then do with the millions of homes already made without such a sufficiency?

In the short term, all I see happening is that governments that buy into the global warming lie will tax us heavily. Not only will their economies be pouring trillions into developing low carbon emitting processes, the rich countries will be racked with guilt about putting the world into the dilemma. To buy their way out of the guilt they will send trillions of tax dollars to lesser countries that are too ignorant to know their life is being jacked by a bunch of thieves. Poor countries will remain poor, and rich countries will remain rich.  The common man, we the people meaning you and me will be poorer, and perhaps happier that we do our bit to save the planet.

As we pay and suffer to save the world, and Muslims will succeed in annihilating civilization thus depopulating the planet.  Earth will continue on its merry orbit until the sun itself eventually peters out a few billion years from now.

Opening Day At the 2013 Monet Vision

Ugh! Opening day in the garden is always a drag, and procrastination delayed my arrival. I love blogging and sat down this morning and even early this afternoon to write, but it didn’t happen. The temperature settled at 85 degrees and the little man inside my head kept urging me to go outside to enjoy the day. “Okay,” I told him, “quit nagging me.” I decided to take a baby step and to spend one hour outside. I even had a plan, i.e. start cleaning the bed behind the kitchen window. That will only take an hour. Three and a half hours later, I dragged my weary body in and collapsed, but at least I took a step.

2013-Monet Vision, Main Bed

2013-Monet Vision, Main Bed

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Cirsium Arvense, Thistle

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Grape Hyacinth

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Dandelion Puff Balls

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White Iris

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Lilly of the Valley beginning to bloom

My mind reeled with visions of work. Move the mums, split the wild geraniums, move the native hibiscus, trim the shrubs, dig out the five foot tall volunteer bush at the bird tower, move the day lilies into the sun, trim the shag bark birch, spray the dandelions, clean the leaves from the east side of the house, trim the Fallopia Japonica, cut back the shrubs along the east border, pull the weeds from the vegetable bed, and I haven’t even thought about buying any flowers yet. Oh my, what am I going to do? Take it one baby step at a time, that is what!

The first priority is to clean all maximum impact areas. What is a maximum impact area? Any flower bed that I can see from my chair at the kitchen table is a maximum impact area. There is an order of priority commencing from the chair, and progressing to the view standing at the kitchen window, to looking out the sunroom windows, to the bedroom windows, and finally, my neighbor’s view from his patio to the the far reaches of the yard.

Garden waste is always a problem for me. The village provides a pickup service, but I have to place the waste curbside in officially approved and tagged brown paper bags. That does not appeal to me at all. I prefer dumping garden waste into a pile beyond the lot line in the swamp. The EPA designation for swamp these days is “wetland.” Last year, the Wetlands Officer gave me a ticket for dumping evil grass clippings and dead dandelions on officially designated wetland property. The list of damage I subjected upon to the environment seemed endless. Further infractions of tossing horticultural matter into the swamp is punishable, and objectionable to the natural critters who consider the swamp their home.

When I finally came in, I went to my computer and googled NuWay Waste Disposal. That is the company that trucks our garbage and recyclables away. Eureka, they offer a yard waste disposal bin for a seasonal fee. The choice is to pay for the official brown bags, or for a handy waste container that gets picked up weekly. The Monet Vision produces a few square yards of horticultural matter every year, and the bin is a much more practical way to dispose of the waste. At least it is for me.

When the Frankfort Environmental Officer arrives to inspect my piece of the swamp, I will proudly point at my new garden waste bin and thumb my nose at him. Then, I will politely ask him what he will do to eradicate all the non-native thistle and doc migrating from his swamp into my horticultural masterpiece.

EPA Tentacles and Big Brother

Environmental Protection Agency Seal

Environmental Protection Agency Seal (Photo credit: DonkeyHotey)

FAIL

Have you ever wondered how the EPA is affecting your life? I’m not talking about how they purify the air or the drinking water supply (which they don’t do, your local community does that). I’m talking about how they get into your personal life in your own personal space.

At the beginning of April I received a nicely written letter from the Environmental Specialist of the Village of Frankfort. I’ve added A copy of the letter  below. The ES explains how I am breaking the law by dumping grass clippings behind my house. WTF, I was livid. That is why it has taken me so long to write about this matter. Had I written on the day I received the letter, I’d be in jail today.

Letter from Frankfort EPA police

I looked for the cited Village ordnance, and found the paragraph. It clearly states the prohibition of dumping yard waste. I am guilty, I dump grass clippings into a mulch pile at the back of my lot which backs up to an EPA defined wetland.

One would think based on the seriousness of this letter that I am dumping in a backyard neighbor’s property. I am not, in fact I am dumping horticultural organic matter into an area not inhabited by man. Most of us who went to high school understand that organic matter decays and returns to nature in the form of rich compost. It is beneficial to soil enrichment, and gardeners are encouraged to add compost to flower beds to the rebuild the soil.  At least that is what I learned in Master Gardener School. Evidently, the EPA and the Village of Frankfort do not understand that principle.

Many questions began to whirl through this aged brain like, how in the heck did they find my feeble grass pile? Who found it? Why did they even look for it? It must be my tax dollars at work. I asked myself how in the world can a small village like Frankfort afford to have an Environmental Specialist on its payroll? They have too much money is the answer. We are supposed to be a conservative town with conservative leaders. I’m beginning to understand the meaning of CINO (Conservative in Name Only). I know the Mayor, I think he is a great guy, he has done a good job of leading the town. He understands the need for commercial development, and the need to preserve our 1850’s charm, but I think he’s been mayor too long. He is beginning to believe the town belongs to him.

I reviewed my neighborhood on Google maps. These wonderful maps give us another perspective on what is going on around us. I want to show the size and scope of this wetland as compared to my grass pile. I learned some new things after looking closely. At first, the picture looked like the one I looked at when I bought this property seven years ago. Then, I began to notice details. My pond didn’t get built until five years ago, my tiny vegetable plot didn’t get added until three years ago, my neighbors new fire pit didn’t get installed until two years ago, and the trampoline the kids next door jump on didn’t arrive until last year. Hello, this is a brand new photo from space. What is that all about? Who pays for these photos, Google? Is it Google’s satellite circling the earth with a camera to make their maps more detailed? I don’t think so.

Regardless, you can see that I back up to a huge wetland and my grass pile pales in comparison. Don’t you see it?  It is the pixel to the left and above the red pointer

I zoomed my property to find the grass pile, and its deadly effect on the wetland. What I found was a new photo from space with all the new details I mentioned above. After examining this blow up closely, the lot line is easy to extrapolate from the neighbors on either side of me. The many trees and shrubs obscure my lot line. The grass pile is just inside the tree line, and I’m sure it does not encroach the wetland by more than six feet. More questions come to mind. How in the heck did they find my grass pile? They must be looking at better photos than I find on Google. Is this what the Environmental Specialist does? Look for grass piles?

Close up of my lot from Space

This explains why I saw two big guys having a conversation at the back of my lot a few months ago. They stood on my property thinking of reasons to send me a letter. After all, the grass pile creates a “hazard for village employees.”  They disappeared before I had a chance to challenge them. The simple fact is that this wetland is a Mid-western jungle of fallen Cottonwood trees, and an invasive species called Buckthorn, as well as Mulberry, wild grape, buck thistle, doc, poison ivy, and many things that I am not able to name.

My seven-year war has been on terrorist plants like the buck thistle that came directly from this wetland space. The thistle began invading years before my grass pile came into existence.

The Village recommends I buy yard waste bags (a major pain in the ass to use, and are expensive), or to hire a landscape service to mow and haul the clippings away to another wetland someplace (I did have a service until the economy crashed in 2008, and I felt I could not afford it any more), or I should have the trash collection company provide a yard waste container to haul the waste to some discrete wetland away from Frankfort.

It is my conclusion that someone in the Village government has a friend in the waste management business.

I hate to think of my grass pile causing the Charrington Dam to erode, or the invasion of noxious weeds to overtake the wetland, or to upset the balance of nature in such a way as to keep the hundreds of Canada Geese from nesting there. The Canada Geese, by the way, are overpopulating the entire southwestern suburbs and polluting many forest preserve and wetland areas. They also happen to come to my yard to crap all over the patio and to steal bird feed, along with all the opossum, raccoon, red fox, deer, snakes, and other critters that call the wetland home. Answer this, would all these creatures invade my yard if the dreaded grass pile was gone?

In the meantime, I switched to using the mulcher on the mower.

And that is how the EPA and Big Brother get into your shorts.

Has the EPA Met the End Of Its Usefulness?


It figures, Obama caves on the Keystone pipeline and it is a joke. It is not April Fool’s Day yet “O.”

Today, I drove west on US Route 30 through a construction zone. This road is the original cross-country highway across America stretching from New York to San Francisco, but now it is a local road replaced by Interstate eighty. It doesn’t really matter which direction I drive, the road is under construction. It is a nightmare slalom course through colorful orange barrels. All along the route there are signs, paid for by you, and me declaring “WETLAND NO INTRUSION.” Often they attach them to a temporary fence stretched across a property in question. Route 30 crosses several creeks, forest preserves, and genuine wetlands. Each area is defined by a fence that is patrolled by the EPA for intrusion . What in the world does it mean, and what protection does it afford to you and me? With a little research I determined that the EPA intention is to decrease the impact of a project on a wetland.

So, here I sit in the Department of Transportation Office designing a major road improvement that widens a road from two lanes to four. My road crosses several creeks which means I have to build more bridge lanes to cross. Now how in the world do I do that without encroaching on the wetland? The EPA wants me to minimize encroachment. As an engineer, it is my job to get the project done to specification on time, and within the estimated cost. Why would I destroy more stream than is necessary to build my bridge? Isn’t that I am building a bridge evidence it is not my intention to destroy the creek? Why do you make me add cost to survey the line of allowed encroachment, build a fence and hang a sign to remind me where the line is?

A sensible engineer would lay a couple of pipes across the  span and fill in over it to create a roadbed.  In doing this he gambles that pipes he laid will accommodate the largest rush of  water nature supplies. If he loses the road floods and or washes out. In order to prevent that he builds a bridge which minimizes restriction to water flow. He doesn’t need a stupid reminder from the EPA about his responsibility. His job is to keep traffic moving safely and quickly.

How many road projects are there in America, and how many creeks and wetlands with fences and signs?  The cost is horrendous. So what?  Well, I just paid my 2011 income tax and I’m pissed about my contribution to the cause.  I am not in the one percent being picked on by Occupy Wall Street, and Obama, and by now I am probably no longer in the middle class since I haven’t earned a penny in ten years. Every dollar I pay in tax hurts, and every dollar I pull from my 401K advances me a bit closer toward  SSI and Medicaid. All you youngsters out there better be praying that I die off  before that happens or the burden of providing for my welfare will fall upon you. That is why I say get rid of the EPA, and a number of other burdensome agencies that have no useful purpose in society other than to harass the citizenry, and stop real progress from happening..

Pinwheels for Pinheads

With all the brain power hired to transform the country under the guise of Hope and Change we don’t seem to have two cents worth of common sense in the lot. The sad fact is that these guys really believe they are saving the country.

Steven Chu current Secretary of Energy is impressive with his PhD degree from Berkley and his Nobel prize for Physics, but his brain is disengaged  from reality. He fails to realize that man-made global warming is a myth formulated to rob the USA of its wealth. Does he care? Nope. He really believes that by forcing the price of gas to rise to $8.00 per gallon that the population will rush to buy electric cars and bicycles. What will really happen totally escapes him, the population will be standing in line in front of a soup kitchen looking for nourishment. Eight dollar gas will kill commerce and shrink the economy further.  His vision sees the once great USA with pure air and the population living like people in Kenya. Sorry, Kenya, I don’t mean to pick on you, but you are responsible for the Roots of Obama’s Rage.

If Chu is so concerned about the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere he should work on a plan to sever California from the mainland. The state is one of very few places in the world where the the sky is perpetually gray-green and the Interstates are five to six lanes wide in each direction, and rush hour resembles a mass migration of lemmings headed for the edge of  a cliff.

Where in the world did Obama get these guys? How can one man be associated with so many weirdo advisors in such a short lifetime?

What is Wrong With This Picture?

I often brag about my garden titled 2011 Monet Vision. I am proud of the scene I’ve created in my own little piece of the world.

Today, I took another photograph for the record. Wait, what is wrong with the photo? Can you tell? This garden is in Frankfort, IL, and it is November 5. The trees are bare, the tall grasses are brown, many of the shrubs have dropped leaves. Dead foliage lays between plants waiting for me to rake and pile them on the mulch heap. The water lilies are dormant as are all the other aquatic plants. So what is different?

The begonias, marigolds, and lobelia are still blooming. Where is the killing frost? By this time in year’s past we have had a killing frost that would take out  the annuals. My breathing must be extra heavy and I’m exhaling too much carbon dioxide. Yeah that’s it. I’m watching too many young women (anyone under sixty qualifies for that) and they are making my heart go pitter-patter and raising my carbon footprint, thus warming the globe.

Yep, that’s it, too much CO2. I have to put the blinders on to make the weather behave more normally. What is normal for November in Frankfort? I Googled temperature records and learned that in 1977 it reached seventy-seven degrees in November. Wow! In 1977 I drove a VW that got 35 mpg. I must have breathed real heavy to outgas that extra CO2 to warm things up that much. The opposite occurred in 1958, the low temperature dipped to “ZERO.” I must have reversed the process and consumed CO2 during that year to effect Global cooling of that magnitude.

Record highs and lows don’t really give us a clear picture of November weather. Averages do a little better. November average temperatures range from 48F high to 32F low. This November has been slightly higher with more days in the fifties, but I’m sure that will change in a few days. Most likely we will catch up with degree days and freeze with colder temps.

So what does all this have to do with the picture? Nothing, it just means that I got lucky this year and got to see my flowers bloom a little longer than in past years.

Here is what 2011 Monet Vision looked like a few weeks ago.

2011 Monet Vision

My Latest Prediction. Want to Bet?

A year ago I posted the above  cartoon about the Gulf oil spill. I predicted that BP would solve the problem sooner than the government would do anything to stop the spill of money they borrow. Well, I’m here to tell you, the government hasn’t stopped the borrowing, and the oil leak is fixed. When I drew the cartoon the debt was 13 trillion dollars, now it is 14 trillion. They can spend money faster than I can draw cartoons.

My latest prediction is that the 172 million gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf will break down into its natural organic components before the government balances its budget, eliminates the deficit, and begins to live within its means.

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