Thursday, June 23, 2005

The Great Palmer Divide Pine Beetle Massacre of 2005

This is not to be confused with "The Great Palmer Divide Blizzard of 2005" by the way...written about by Rocky on April 11, 2005; however, it is just as monumental. We moved into our new to us house last week and learned a lot about bugs and trees. I love trees and hate bugs. Well, it seems these particular bugs are unusually nasty - Mountain Pine Beetles. They can destroy bunches of 80+ year old Pine trees (they seem to enjoy nesting in Ponderosa Pines) in one season. Our immediate neighborhood has lost over 100 trees in the last year alone.
They chew their way into the middle of the tree and prevent it from providing nutrients to the branches...hand the tree a fungus and next thing you know the Forest Service is on your doorstep telling you the tree must be taken down...even though it "looks" alive.

WE ARE FIGHTING BACK! Tomorrow the blitz will begin. We are spraying, cutting, chipping and otherwise making it a very unwelcome place for these little chompers and hope they find a bunch of treated bark and go to buggy heaven. The replanting of this forest area will begin Saturday.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Bumper Cars...

Is there such a thing as a safe city to drive in? Well, according to Allstate Insurance Co. you need to move to Cedar Rapids Iowa. Drivers there have the lowest rate of accidents in the every 15 years. People are more courteous, roads are better laid out and signs are easy to understand - the formula a few cities in Colorado could emulate in my judgement.
This is in drastic contrast to Philadelphia, Pa. the most dangerous big city to drive surprise to me. I can't stand that town...perhaps a throwback to the Philadelphia Eagles football fans treatment of the Dallas Cowboys (my hometown team).
Anyway, they have wrecks, on average, every 6.8 years! Other cities with a somewhat disgraceful record include Dallas and L.A.....Amazingly, Denver (with all of the construction, traffic congestion and lousy signage) ranks just below the national average at 9.8 years between wrecks. I think Denver will have the road system all updated by about the time hovercraft take to the highways and it won't matter.
So now ya know......

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Feeling Sorry for Runaway Georgia Bride?...

So-called runaway bride, Jennifer Wilbanks, was indicted last Wednesday on felony and misdemeanor charges and faces arrest, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter announced. Oh no, what a travesty for this poor mixed up young woman you say....
Not so fast seems she also has "sticky fingers" when she goes shopping. Her current attorney, a former Prosecutor, actually prosecuted her in 1996 for shoplifting some $1,700 from a local mall! Not her only conviction for shoplifting 1998 she was again caught for trying to lift $98 from a local store. She has seen a jail cell before it seems!
If convicted of the Felony charge of making false statements to police she could spend many nights in jail. But heck, she offered $13,250 to the authorities to make it all "go away"........thing is, it cost over $50,000 to try and find her....hmmm...I suppose we are just supposed to forgive and forget the balance?
Nuts like this need help - but if you do the crime ya gotta do the time...or at least have some consequence for the actions taken.
June 2, 2005 Update:
Judge Ronnie Batchelor sentenced her to two years of probation and 120 hours of community service as part of a plea bargain. He also ordered her to continue mental health treatment and pay the sheriff's office $2,550.
That is in addition to the $13,250 she previously agreed to pay the city of Duluth, Ga., to help cover the overtime costs incurred in searching for her. Her balance is roughly $32,000 give or take a bit....If my math is correct, she is earning about $285 per hour for community service....I want that job when she's finished!

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I Am In Control....Right?

When it comes to dogs and wives I don't seem to have what it takes to be a King of the Castle. I'm trying my best to emulate my hero, "Tool Time" guy Tim Allen, in all my family affairs....but nobody listens.
"Sit Buddy....sit Tucker"....I get a blank stare. "Come on in boys" is a waste of breath. The question, "Want a biscuit?", is the only phrase that gets the tails wagging and allows me brief stardom. Selective Hearing is the order of the day around "The Castle"....which brings me to the wife...
"Surely you didn't mean that did you"...she politely suggests..."Sorry honey, I didn't understand you"....yuck...I can't begin to Bulldoze this woman - should have known marrying a shrink could cause, well, Castle Challanges... Oh well, there's always the cat - right?