Monday, August 21, 2017

Two Points of View

The following two articles appeared in the same edition of the NYTimes:
-About 71% of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight or obese.
-Sugar arrived in Japan from China in the eighth century and for nearly a millennium it was treated like a controlled substance, hoarded and administered like medicine.
And I thought it was their fish diet that kept those Asians svelte. We could learn from them.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Brexit Remorse

NYTimes writes that more than 10,000 pigs are exported from Ireland to Northern Ireland every WEEK! That's a lot of hog bellies! I guess this may be reflected in the old saying "Irish as Patty's pig." The flow was smooth when both countries were members of the European Union. Now that the U.K. has "exited" the Union taking Northern Ireland with it, there is a problem at the border and the pigs have become a trade issue. As the roads back up it is too bad that pigs can't fly!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Total Eclipse

The total Solar Eclipse will occur on Monday August 21st. While the total exercise will take about two hours, the maximum period of darkness will be 2:41 minutes in downstate Illinois with lesser time as the phenomenon proceeds from Salem, Oregon to Charleston, S.C. Since I  can't be in Illinois  I will settle for Cape May N.J. with best viewing around 2:26PM. With darkness you might observe the following:
-Many animals appear baffled.
-Deer become restless - sheep stampede and bleat.
-Birds scatter and screech - mosquitoes emerge.
-Crickets and owls begin their concerts.
-Biological clocks are affected.
-Temperature may drop as much as 13 deg. Fah.
-A sudden shift in wind direction.
Special eclipse sunglasses are recommended.
Lastly, that halo around the eclipsed sun is called a corona, which happens to be the eclipse beer of choice. Don't miss it but pray for clear skies.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

'Tis an Ill Wind...

The founder of EBay, who has some property in Hawaii, would like to create a dairy farm on the island of Kauai about a mile and a half from The Grand Hyatt Resort. The hotel folks are complaining to the EPA fearing flies and odors wafting on the wind in their direction and a serious negative effect on tourism. Each dairy cow produces ninety pounds of manure per day x 699 cows and Hyatt's lawyer says "That's a lot of manure!" To ameliorate the situation the dairy folks plan to introduce "dung beetles" to help process manure. That is one beetle this city boy is not familiar with. (Sorry to end on a preposition)

Monday, August 14, 2017


You've heard of man-spreading on the subways - now we have Beach-spreading at the Jersey shore.
When I was a youth the only irritations at the beach were the green head flies and an occasional sea gull dive bombing on you. Now the crowds come with their tents and cabanas - tables and grills and block the views of folks on their towels and chairs. It came to a head last year in Seaside Heights when a guy brought a wooden coffin on to the beach containing his food and drink. He was banned due to an absence of a corpse.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Neither snow nor rain......

Above is the lead in to the postman's motto. But pity the poor delivery man in Kabul, Afghanistan where very few streets have names and there are dozen of Mohammads in every block. He rides a bicycle over unpaved roads and tries to deliver 100 parcels per day. While he doesn't contend with snow he does tolerate 90+ fah temperatures. The story reminded me of the situation in Japan told by our manager in Tokyo during the 1960s. It seemed the postal authorities permitted you to designate your house address and everyone wanted Chome Number One. Figure that out on your bicycle.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Primarily Political XXXI

Quote of the week: Re POTUS - "there is no vacation from grievance and frustration." - Peter Baker NYT.

Whoever coined the phrase "Fire and Fury" must have had an affinity for alliteration but was not the Good Book's "fire and brimstone" adequate?

Recent wet weather has spawned wild mushrooms springing up on lawns and gardens. Don't eat them! Recall the disgruntled ex-employee speaking of his employer  - "They give you the mushroom treatment - First they keep you in the dark, then they cover you with manure, and finally they can you."