February 19, 2015

Climate Change?

Hi,

(references: *Al Gore's mansion... Dubya's ranch: * Obamas' vacations using separate jets: * )

Like pretty much everyone else, I've been following the bickering over the possible existence and perhaps extent of "Man-Made Climate Change" (formerly known as "Global Warming" and before that, "Global Cooling"...) So I decided to perform a few experiments on my own. Here are some simple observations:

  • Check out the pics below

    420 2_19_15_ La Crosse IMG_9649.jpg

    420 deck temp oregon_2_19_15.jpg

    420 Direct TV Weather Nation 2_19_95_IMG_9650.jpg

    420 Weather Channel 2_19_15_IMG_9648.jpg

    From top to bottom, those temps read, 33 degrees, 28.8 degrees, 34 degrees, and 31 degrees, with the first and second coming from the front and back of my house. All observations were within two minutes of each other at roughly 2:30 AM, 2/19/15. That's quite a variety of readings for a specific area and time. To be fair, the thermometer that read 33 degrees was attached to the front of the house and the one that registered 28.8 degrees was attached to the back deck. Still, little things mean a lot.

  • Back on 2/14 at 4:10 AM, I tried a similar experiment and got 1.9 from the deck thermometer, 7 from weather.com, and 13 degrees from the front thermometer... Wow...
  • A number of years ago I tried to chart a couple seasons' worth of temperature fluctuations expecting to get the standard sinusoid cycles. Instead, what I got was two wildly different sinusoids. What had I done wrong? The years hadn't been that different from each other. I was using a quality digital thermometer and I never moved it. So why were the readings so disparate? It took me time, but then it dawned on me that I had replaced all the windows in the house and that ultimately changed the core temperature of the entire structure including the basement.
The takeaway from the experiments? Recording temperature using even 21st century equipment can be tricky, let alone early 20th century gear or worse yet the stuff of 19th century. The issue of quality and calibration of instruments must be taken into account, as does the mathematics used. So why all the hub bub?

As far as I can tell, it boils down to a number of things...

  • Yes, the climate is changing, but that shouldn't come as any great surprise.
  • "Climate Science" has not been without its scandals such as this one...
  • I'll speak the unspoken -- while there are well intentioned people out there, there also "Climate Hustlers". Al Gore and the POTUS lunge to mind... Sadly, even amongst those with the best of intentions have absolutely no clue when it comes to the math and computer models being used. (It's nice to be a computer engineer.)
The bottom line for me is that I don't know what is going on... Hence my "Climate Change Agnosticism"...

Confused by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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February 17, 2015

Blizzard(s) of 2015...

Hi,

This has been quite the winter. I've been digging out about four to five times per day. Below are some pics that will give you some idea of the enormity of the process...

Yeah... That's our car... I'm going to have to direct Mrs. CCA out of the driveway because the mounds of snow completely blocks her vision.

420 car IMG_9633.JPG

This is what it looked like when we looked at our deck through the slider...

420 view thru slider IMG_9425.JPG

And here's the path I dug going out to the feeders... (Note: we have the fattest, happiest birds and squirrels in town! They never went hungry, and they always had plenty of clean, unfrozen water... word to the wise.)

420 snow path better IMG_9564.JPG

Let's see... It's 9PM now, and I have two more assaults on the driveway. (I plan on the last digging at apx. 2AM.) We've endured 80" of snow and sub-zero temps... These are days (and nights) I will remember.

Think of me the next time you have a muscle ache.

Scooping by the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


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February 12, 2015

Valentine's Day and Birds

Hi,

Well, here we go again -- it's another gift giving holiday. It seems that every other commercial on TV is for candy, or stuffed bears, or sexy negligee, or flowers, or whatever... I have a different take on the day -- give the gift of birds. There... That's short and sweet... (Please keep in mind that eBirdseed.com did NOT ask me to write this. I write from the heart... This is not the first time I've ranted about giving the gift of seed. Do you really want to drive in the muck below? Read on...)

420 deck with deep snow and noots IMG_9432.JPG

420 snow path IMG_9564.JPG

For me, Valentine's Day should reflect love, commitment, and thoughtfulness. And, IMHO, Valentine's Day is no more all about "hot monkey sex" than Christmas is all about Santa -- there is a depth to the day. I for one am sick of the commercials that dole out libidinous innuendo replete with lecherous voice overs that promise if you just buy product XYZ you'll get "lucky". (I told you eBirdseed.com didn't tell me to write this; I hope I don't get fired for this post...)

Anywho... I say, "Give the gift of a subscription for the backyard birds." Birds are tranquil, beautiful, wonderful things. But you probably already knew that or you wouldn't be reading this...

By the feeders,

CapeCodAlan


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February 6, 2015

Digging Out and Caring for your Birds...‏

Hi,

CapeCodAlan here... Yeah... We did indeed get our clock cleaned when it came to the 'Blizzard of '15'... I am truly sore from shoveling. While I pride myself on keeping in shape, 3' is a tad much. The winds and the gusts didn't help. Check out the thermometer below...

six degrees 420 DSC01633.JPG

That was last night's 1 AM reading when I went out to clear the path to the feeders I'd previously created. For those of you from warmer climes, ironically that's a great temp for me to move snow -- when dressed properly, the shoveling is quick and easy. It's the 33 degree slush crap that will break your back.

But on to the birds... There's a reason I went out at 1 AM (and just a few minutes ago...) As I see it, Mrs. CCA and I have made a deal with the birds -- they will provide us with grace, beauty, and humor, and we in turn will simply provide them with cover, good food, and clean water.

Sometimes joy isn't that tough to find, it's just tough to face...

Hanging in there by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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Comments

OK with therm. 6.6d but don't know what 64.8d means. Explain?

Hi Harry,

Thanks again for your readership! 6.6D was the outside temp, and 64.8 was the inside temp...

Best,

CCA

January 28, 2015

2015 Blizzard Aftermath

slider 420 IMG_9432.JPG

Yeah... I told you we were going to get our butts kicked, and we did as the pic above shows. The good news is that we have continued to keep the birds fed and watered, but the bad news is that aside from battling our way out to the feeders, we are pretty much house bound. I tried to start digging us out, but the snow has drifted so deep that I can't even find my shovel. Observations:

  • When it comes to your feathered friends, be ready for emergencies like this storm. The excuse, "I ran out of seed" is a sad one. Always have a backup plan...
  • In the case of this storm, I'd say always work in pairs... I fell (plunged) into roughly 4' of snow and had a hellacious time just getting back on my feet. Obviously, a healthy person can rise, but it takes energy... A stout 6' walking stick or snow shovel would go a long ways...
  • Spend as much money as you have to to prepare for this sort of event. Of special importance:
    • Gloves: Check the Web and Amazon and find out what folks who ride snow machines wear...
    • Bibs... See above...
    • Boots... See above...
    • Goggles... See above...
    • Undergarments... See above...
    • (Are you noticing a pattern here? Read that as, "Money doesn't matter when you're cold!)
  • Buy several quality snow shovels and station them strategically and secure them completely. I just quit when I couldn't find mine -- it's been buried by snow...
  • Make plans and then make them again. The results might just surprise you...
  • Get as much sleep as possible -- you're going to need it...

Half buried by the feeders...

CapeCodAlan


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January 26, 2015

Blizzard Update: 10:00 PM From Harwich... 1-26-2015

2015 blizzard 10PM IMG_9425.JPG

Well it's official -- we're getting our butts kicked.

Thought I'd get a post in while I still can... The wind is starting to make itself known, and we're making final preparations for loss of power. Here's a quick list in no particular order

  • Break out the generator...
  • Ready the heavy extension cord so that we get power with the generator a safe distance from the house
  • Gather boxes so that we can take fridge food out to the car...
  • Ready guns should we need to go out to access the generator... (We've had a visitation by a mixed breed of coyote and wolf; a neighbor was hunted by a pack while she was walking her dog -- she only escaped attack by fleeing into a stranger's home.)
  • We plan on firing up the generator every few hours just to keep the freezer stuff good and provide heat for our garage/rec room...
  • Know where our flashlights are and keep one at hand...
  • Have a towel ready to stuff the gap at the base of the window when we run the extension cord through...
  • Etc...

Fighting the good fight here in Harwich...

Good luck...

CapeCodAlan


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Blizzard

Alrighty then,

Blizzard 420.jpg

Well... Based on the prediction above, it looks like Cape Cod is going to get absolutely clobbered by this Nor'easter. We probably will lose power, and for umpteen days at that... Oh goody. But this is life on "Old Cape Cod..."

So, the battle goes on... I checked the generator about a month ago, and it was working like a champ. We've got plenty of food, water, medication, batteries, gasoline, etc.. (And yes, we have a fresh stock of bird seed. Can you say the same?) If you read this blog with any regularity, these preparedness links shouldn't be necessary, but here they are anyway...

It's funny, but it's times these this that give me a mixed feeling of both vindication and sadness... Why don't people prepare for emergencies? I write about this stuff all the time, and even family members just smirk, pat me on the head, and say, "It can't happen here..." Yes it can. My mother was alive for the Hurricane of '38... She watched the roof of a house blow off... That was a hurricane with cat. 5 wind gusts, and it killed over 500 people in N.E. alone. In 1954, Hurricane Carol had cat. 4 gusts, and blew boats out of the local boatyard and unceremoniously dumped them onto the road beside... Why don't people prepare for this stuff???

Anywho... This is no place for the lackadaisical or the infirm. If there's a question, get the weak to a shelter.

Gotta go... I've got things to secure, a car to worry about, batteries to charge, etc...

Good luck to you,

CapeCodAlan

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