L. Neil Smith’s THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 905, January 8, 2017
The Calm Before the Storm
by Jeff Fullerton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Last day of the year.
My friend in Wisconsin is grumbling again—which is expected this time of year. His usual pet peeve is of course weather related. Can you believe it? According to this article the Midwest was colder than Mars this past week.
Like in the words of Elton John in Rocket Man; it was cold as hell. Even so they still couldn’t resist getting in a dig at “climate deniers” and they are not giving up on the “hottest year on record” claim either.
If that were not enough there are people in Wisconsin fretting about the decision of the state DNR to remove references to “Climate Change” from their website.
The long suffering DNR bureaucrats who’ve always been devoted foot soldiers to the progressivist cause probably can’t wait for the Democrats to get back in again—and they eventually will as sure as death and tax slavery. Hopefully it won’t be for a while longer as most Wisconsin tax slaves are apparently happy with Mr Walker’s reforms. But eventually when people are secure and satisfied with their basic life issues pet issues will come to the forefront again. Next thing we know we’ll be picking strawberries in January!
Strawberries in January? In a greenhouse maybe though I’ve yet to try it. There was another one on Motherboard about Trump wanting to refocus NASA on other planets and away from Earth science which has become too politicized because of the climate issue. If the current trend in private space vehicle development continues there might not be need for NASA much longer.
That is if the Party of Tyranny doesn’t manufacture an excuse to overturn the election. They are apparently still working on it as Obummer attempts to stir up a hornets nest with Russia on his way out the door. I’m thinking we really ought to rename the Democrats as the Tyranocratic Party given their tendency to favor the tyranny of majority rule when they think the numbers are in their favor —or loose because of the electoral college—other wise favoring top down rule by bureaucratic, executive and judicial fiat when public opinion doesn’t go their way.
Doesn’t make Obummer look very presidential. Just when I was about to thank him for saving the country from 8 years of the Hildabeast. As for the fates—I’m not sure which is worse—overturning the Trump election or war with Russia? And with Hildabeast in office you get both!
Yesterday I found a good coating on my car when I left for home and I luckily had a broom on hand. Took the long way home thru New Stanton and the roads that way were still pretty good in comparison to past events.
Got in ok and reloaded. I also shook the furnace good and got good airflow going again. House has been keeping up—though if we get some of that Mars-like weather all bets are off!
First entry for the new year.
I loathe what might be coming based on your most recent reports. All the while I have been taking the current set but mild weather for granted mostly working on my novel which unfortunately did not make the New Year finish date but at least I’m seriously committed.
Meanwhile a few other issues to deal with. The male Florida Box kept coming up out of hibernation and was not looking good. Apparently emaciated and dehydrated so I brought him in like I did the big female who was doing the same thing last year and set him up in the tote enclosure that has an incandescent fixture and a plexiglass lid. He does not look sick since I took him out of the greenhouse on the day New Year’s Eve and is eating surplus Dubia Roaches—that need a serious culling because there are oodles and oodles of big ones now and the colony feels like it weights a couple pounds heavier than a few months ago. In a way it is good because I’ll be able to use these bugs as a more frequent meal for the bigger turts.
The female Euro Pond was still having buoyancy issues so she’s going to have to be brought back out of hibernation again—this time for good and maintained for the duration like last winter. Which probably means going another year until she might be established enough to start producing eggs. Then again if I can get her beefed up over the winter she still might ovulate since she’s been down a couple months already and the male should be raring to go when he goes outside come April.
Going to have to get another Rubbermaid setup—one without a bulkhead fitting since I don’t want another leak issue if I set it up in the upstairs again. But I’ll need an external filter setup—either a canister one or a small pump that is somehow enclosed to protect it from large turtles—and a five gal bucket full of biofiltration media. Will have to buy a new tub at RK—the new generation of 50 gal tubs no longer have the bulkhead drains so they are completely seamless and won’t leak.
Finally got organized for the new year. Started off cleaning and swapping out the trays for the baby Euro Ponds and sliders which needed a lot of scrubbing to get the algae off the substrate mats and basking rocks. Then topped off the tubs for the bigger turts and used my new siphon to do a partial change in the 10 gal in the living room with the Green Swords.
Spent most of the day inside but got a lot done inside. Was running out of daylight when I finally got around to the furnace and a quick check on the greenhouse while getting ready to head out to C’ville at dinner time. I also deployed the bubbler in the main pond using the electrical vault with the faux rock cover as a pump house—a much more tidy alternative to invented pots or tubs.
While checking out the greenhouse I made an unexpected find in the Gulf Pen when I stopped to make sure nobody was in the watering pan—which is sometimes a possibility when we have unseasonably mild conditions. I noticed the distinct form of two hatchling turtles in the water laying lifeless on the bottom. Looks like the female did nest somewhere else after dropping a couple eggs in the water this past summer. One of the little turts was showing signs of life so the verdict is out on whether or not they are still viable enough to make it and I’m hoping that when I return home they will both be recovered. Turtles are notorious for coming back when you think they are near death or even dead so I brought them indoors to warm them up to give them a chance.
Had dinner at Uncle Budd’s and getting ready to head off to RK and Lowe’s to get a few things and pay the Lowe’s card. Need to get a new Rubbermaid for the Euro Pond and a piece of plywood big enough to put all three smaller tubs on so I can make room again for a big one.
1/4/17: 05:10 AM
Another update a few hours before sunrise.
Felt a bit chilly when I got up. 64 in the living room. Figured I’d burnt through the few logs I put in just prior to departure along with some paper and cardboard to rekindle from coals in the evening and never checked when I got back. I had come in and fed the fish and then went to bed and fell asleep right after.
Much to my surprise most of the logs I put in were still there when I checked the firebox. The fire must have consumed the box of junk mail and scrap cardboard put in for tinder and the logs never caught fire. Had a very hard time rekindling from the live coals that were still smoldering on the underside of a split slab laying on the ash bed. I swear they must put flame retardants in everything these days because newspaper and cardboard are so hard to kindle into flame. I used paper and egg carton plus some dry material from a mouse nest plus a few dry split logs to get another fire going. It smoldered stubbornly until finally it burst into flame and I shook the grates to get good air flow and waited a good while to make sure and added more wood to fill it up before going back in.
Now I’ll have to wait for it to catch up and then keep it caught up from here on because the bad stuff that is on Ray’s doorstep in Wisconsin Rapids is coming my way. Starting this afternoon. It was still relatively mild when I went outside but will be dropping through the day to the freezing mark in the afternoon and into the 20s and 30s next several days with a 9 degree low somewhere in there before moderating again next week. That will surely eat into my wood supply and remaining coal. Going to have to look into setting up delivery of a load of stone for the next time things warm up so I can get Keslars to deliver another load in a month or so.
I hope to keep my head above water the next three months. There may have been regime change in Washington but the struggle against Nature goes on as I dare to hope for a better year ahead with the renovation of the pond and more success with the fish and turts.
As for the baby boxies I found—one at least appears viable and may make it. The other remains lifeless. If only I had found them sooner. There is the possibility that a few others may still be in the nest or at large and dug in somewhere else and will turn up in the spring like the batch that my baseball sized “Franklin Jr” came from. Two eggs that were dropped in the watering pan plus the two hatchlings found so far equals 4 and there were possibly a few more offspring unaccounted for.
Got my Rubbermaid and left it out overnight to let the rains wash it off before bringing it in to use. Will start waking the big female Euro Pond up this morning and get her into the setup later today. The basic arrangement will be the same and the island made from strapping two large turtle docks together is still available because I resisted the temptation to take it apart to use in other setups. I’m probably going to get a few more so I can have them permanently in both the outside and indoor setups and so I only have to rotate the turts at the close of the season.
I do wish they would make docks with reversed symmetry which would be useful in outdoor applications when I might want one with a ramp that goes the opposite way.
Was not able to find the length of plywood I wanted. May just go with putting the tub with the larger juvenile Euro Ponds in the drawer space under the table I want to put the Rubbermaid on if I can get the basking light and filter to work with that configuration.
Told Ray that neither Bruce or I envy his current situation. It was 4 or more likely minus 4 in the Land of Proxmire when I stopped by the Chateau and pulled up the weather for Wisconsin Rapids around 8PM. Total suck ass conditions that must surely have his trigger finger itching to nuke a few Polar Bears. And Polar Bear nuking weather is starting to work its way in here and it is going to be a struggle to keep up. Glad I didn’t burn that big chunk earlier on because I will need it even more this weekend with highs in the teens and a low of 7 one morning.
When I checked the two new baby box turtles at bedtime I had a scare. The one that I was showing signs of life was gone. It had bolted in the fashion of the baby Euro Pond last winter. Though oh shit here we go again! Luckily it only got a few feet away along the baseboard. Close call.
As for the other one: it has apparently drowned. Such a shame but I at least have one of them to replace the two hatchlings that perished in the summer heat of 15.
My first serious engagement with winter unless I count the previous commute home by way of New Stanton. This time I opted to park at the cemetery and it was a somewhat hairy run getting up the curve at the lower end of Greenlick Road. Otherwise it was just slow getting home. Probably 3 inches—which was what I swept off my car at the hospital. And it’s still not finished.
Of course the firebox was burnt down to a couple logs and coals so I had to reload. And it’s 64 in the living rhoom which is at least better than the 20 degree outside temp. Upstairs of course is not bad with the heat rising and several incandescent bulbs that are basking lights for the turtles. Woooooo-ooooooohhhhh-oooooohhhhh! Out in the darkness the sirens of the Green Police wail and Inauguration Day can’t get here soon enough!
Seriously! All day on the news the Democrats and their fellow traveler quisling Republicans lead by John McCain are ramping up the blame on Russia and apparently can’t wait to start a war so we can have a little Nuclear Winter to go with our Norseman’s Hell. It is obvious where those people are coming from. The President Elect talked about stuff like making allies pay their fair share and scaling back foreign aide because the nation is massively in debt and the policy wonks inside the Beltway who make their living on the gravy train of the military industrial complex and interventionist foreign policy are terrified as hell and they’re circling the wagons.
Was a day for digging out after leaving my car at the cemetery and walking in like I have previous times when I have to work the following day and am not sure about my ability to shovel it off in a timely manner.
Luckily it was light fluffy stuff that was easy to sweep away with a broom. Also got the firebox loaded up and boosted the boiler to 170 to keep up a little better. Then visited the greenhouse to water plants and do a long overdue checkup on the Japanese Pond Turtle trio in the Waterland setup.
They appear to be fine ; hunkered down in their little cave under the biofiltration tub and hibernating just like the Spotted Turtles did when I hibernated them in the greenhouse in years past. I might just leave the JPTs there for the duration being it is safer than the garage.
So far the heating system that was giving me trouble earlier is functioning and maintaining the 50 degree minimum temperature. However I noted that some of the cattleya orchids are turning yellow and dropping leaves and I noticed the same on some of the philodendron plants. Thinking there might be some spotty frost damage possibly because one of the circulating fans quit working and heat is less efficiently distributed. Always something.
And then there is more bad news on the national stage I discovered when I got to work and heard about Fort Lauderdale. I’ll leave that to others as I’m sure there will be at least two other articles in the upcoming edition of this journal. The obvious solution that could have prevented this and other similar attacks on commercial aviation is in the pages of the Probability Broach. Need I say anything more?
Then there is this article I discovered by way of Ice Age Now that reports the EPA (Evil People’s Administration which Ray just coined today) is fixing to go after those who burn wood for heat in Alaska! Cripes & yikes! Among my deepest fears too.Inauguration Day will be a Godsend if Mr Trump will promptly gut the Evil People’s Administration before they end up causing widespread death and misery to those of us who live in cold winter climates. The three letters naming this abomination ought to have been the first thing out of Governor Rick Perry’s mouth when he had a brain freeze in response to the question of which federal agencies he would abolish during the 2012 GOP primary!
Then I hear Trump might make him the head of that agency. If there was ever a case for putting a fox in a henhouse—the EPA is definitely it ! And have it eat Obama’s chickens before they come home to roost! On a brighter note Ray sent me another link to that delightful music group—Minnesotans for Global Warming and it is a total hoot!Now they’ve got a guy dressed like a Viking with blond braids and another one wearing an Algore mask! And there is another one that would have been just the thing for my previous article during the holiday season; a really cool Algore version of the 12 Days of global Warming—something like Marion Barry’s 12 days of Christmas! Satire always makes for a great weapon. Maybe the best way to destroy these people is to rip and ridicule them into oblivion!
Late update from O-Dark Thirty Saturday morning.
It was down to 64 in the living room. But that beats 11 degrees outside. Or minus 11 in Ray’s backyard! I’m a Wanted Fan in Wisconsin—damned sure wouldn’t be caught there!
I survived the night and ran the oil furnace from the time I got up early in the morning until departure for work at 10:00 AM. Still had only recovered one degree at the time I switched back to the outside source. Based on previous experience I don’t expect it to catch up by time I get home but it will still be way better than the outside temperature which as of 4 PM is about 16 degrees and probably didn’t get any higher all day.
A low of 9 degrees tonite and 16 for the high again Sunday night and single digits again. I will get through it and look forward to the return of Gore Bull Warming in the coming week. Maybe 50s again by next weekend!
Hoping the McCurtain Country OK ecotype palmettos will fare well. They are the hardiest palm in the world but will suffer damage if they get in the subzero range or frigid weather for long duration. They will however survive and recover because the bud tissue in the crown is below ground.
Ditto for the North Texas ecotypes by the cellar door. The warmer microclimate of a southern exposure at the foundation of a heated building helps too.
And the greenhouse despite its problems is still an oasis of green in a frozen white wasteland.
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