Local View –Shadberry Rains–

I should likely start this post with a weather map, showing how even when a low swings out to sea, and a cold front pushes past with a following high pressure, sometimes the clouds refuse to depart.  (Also note the low way up by Hudson Bay. If you think it doesn’t intend to plunge south and plauge New England, you lack the pessimism necessary to live here. If you don’t believe me, move here. It is right about now that lots of immigrants start screaming and ripping their hair out), (and they haven’t even met our black flies.)

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This year has been typical, teasing immigrants (called “Flatlanders” around here) with balmy weather in March, seducing them into thinking spring is about to come this far north at the same time it came further south in their past, in the far away places they came from. As a bit of irony, temperatures hit 73° (23° Celsius) on April first, as an April Fool’s joke. And to totally tantalize the suckers from the south, a few trees such as swamp maples behaved as if they were about to burst into leaf, risking some early blooms. For proof, I offer you a picture from Farmer’s New Year (March 25).

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Yet here it is, nearly 40 days later, and the swamp maple still haven’t leafed out. As the Flatlanders scream, the trees go “bwah ha ha ha.”

The trees are a lot smarter than the people around here, which makes sense, as they’ve lived longer. Of course, psychiatrists will object to my saying that, stating trees don’t have brains, and can’t think. Perhaps that is what makes trees smarter.

Regarding psychiatrists, I will say this much: Some of the kids we have had pass through our Childcare have been troubled, and they have been to psychiatrists, and also they have been to groves of pines. Guess which did nothing for the child’s bad mood (which some call “mental health”), and guess which healed the child’s hurt heart when humans couldn’t?  (Oops, I gave the answer away, by using that word “humans”.)

People do have brains, but mostly it just gets us in trouble. For example, take the subject of “being in harmony in with nature.” This subject makes humans absolutely bonkers. In my time I have seen one actress hit by a bucket of red paint as she left a theater wearing a fur coat, and another actress sprayed with manure as she baked muffins in a pasture. (These ridiculous, yet real-life, cartoons come to you courtesy of Greenpeace.)

Whatever you may say about trees, they would never be caught dead doing anything like that.

We only have one life, but according to some the “One Life” goes on and on through countless incarnations, as our consciousness strives to be One with God’s.

I have enough trouble remembering where I put my car keys, and can’t remember what I was doing before I was born, but, according to some, a long, long time ago we ourselves were trees. If that is so, I can’t say we’ve learned all that much, in a million incarnations of evolution.

I got tremendous enjoyment from Tolkien’s trilogy when I came to the part where the “Ents” make an appearance, as “shepherds of the trees”. At our Childcare I have often regaled the children with tales and warnings about “walking trees”, even to the point where one young boy marched up to me one morning and informed me, “My dad says there is no such thing as walking trees.”

However Tolkien didn’t understand one thing about trees, and it is this secret: Their heads are in the soil, and their limbs reach up towards the sun. If a tree ever did wake up and walk, it would bring its limbs to the earth, rip its roots up, and you’d face a creature with a mane like a lion, but a mane filled with crumbling dirt.  It would see you without eyes…….unless, of course, it was a potato.

Which works me around to the subject:  I did get some potatoes planted today, with the help of small children at the Childcare. In theory it was a teaching experience. I’m never sure the youngest get what I am saying, which is that by sticking perfectly good food in the dirt we get ten to twenty times as much perfectly good food. It is the older kids, the hoary veterans aged four and five,  those who had the fun of digging up the potatoes last fall, and roasting them by a fire, who have a glimmer of understanding. The younger ones are far more fascinated by earthworms.

I also dared transplant into the garden four kale plants, and six broccoli plants, just to gamble and prove even old geezers like me can live at the edge. I’ve seen killing frosts even this late, but I glanced at the sky, and consulted Weatherbell (my favorite long-range forecast site), and I stroked my white beard and looked wise, but in the end I consulted the trees. (It is a sign of our times, perhaps, that mere vegetables are so much smarter than the mainstream-media.  I didn’t consult the mainstream-media at all.)

The carrots, beets, seedling kale, onions, garlic, fennel, turnips, seedling Brussels sprouts, and lettuce haven’t sprouted yet, nor will they ever sprout if I work too long and appear dull to the children, (for bored kids at a Childcare can trample a soft seedbed as hard as a parking lot in the twinkling of an eye), so I, as the wise master of small slaves, decided it was time to go for a walk, and consult the trees.

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Abruptly I was stopped by a lovely bloom I pass every year without ever bothering to ask myself what it is. I always assumed it was some sort of cherry, (or perhaps a relative of blueberries, as its small cherries had a blueberry-like look, at the ends of their berries), but I never bothered be sure because usually everything busts out in May in such a rush you have no time to sort things out. But this year spring seems to be in slow motion, if not in suspended animation, and I have had time for things I never had time for before. Apparently one is never too old to learn, because I learned this bloom was one I’d read a lot about. Can you name it?

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Some called this serviceberry. Why?  Because in the old days the ground was too frozen to bury people in the winter. (Old timers told me that back in the day they stuck all old people who refused to do their chores in the “Town Tomb” in the fall, and in the spring they’d open it and any who didn’t walk out would get buried. This is a subject for another post, but I may include a picture of the “Town Tomb” at the end of this post, if I ever find the time to take one.) When the ground was finally soft enough to bury people, they would have a service, with this bush blooming around the edges of the graveyard, so it was called serviceberry.

Because the bush blooms so early, it is also the first to have berries, so it is also called “juneberry.” As eggs are just hatching and voracious fledglings are demanding, these berries are for the birds, and I was brought up to avoid “bird berries”, and have never tried them.  I understand they are sour.

However the name I had heard much about, without ever identifying the actual plant it referred to,  was “shadbush”. Back a few hundreds of years ago shadbush told you the shad were running, and then all else was dropped. Few shad came as far upstream as these hills, but a wonder of ancient, local laws was that people had to drop all quarrels when the shad, herring and salmon were running. You could be a Hatfield, and could travel to the hunting grounds of the McCoy’s, but you weren’t allowed to fight your worst enemy, when you were fishing. (Strange but true, and perhaps an example for modern man.)

Shad, dried and turned to powder, was a local ingredient of a local wonder-food called “pemmican”. Pemmican was one third powdered meat, one third powdered nuts and berries, and one third pure fat. The hunters who carried this food could travel a week or two with breakfast, lunch and dinner in a small bag.  Apparently a spoonful now and again was all you needed, even while burning a lot of calories hunting. The ingredients varied from place to place, but it was common from coast to coast in America in the old days. Out west they likely substituted buffalo for shad, but eating three tablespoons a day didn’t seem to stunt anyone’s growth. When the first Europeans arrived in New England their men averaged around five feet five inches, as New Englanders averaged six feet.

The children regard me suspiciously when I tell them such tales. After all, I’m the same old geezer who tells them about walking trees. However they are interested in eating, and today they sampled wild mustard leaves, yellow dock leaves, and the inner part of the root of burdock. (These are the same kids who refuse to eat the really good food some mother’s prepare.) (One trick I use is to tell them, “You can spit this out if you want to. You probably won’t like it. Only grown-ups like it.” ) (To prove they are grown up, they try to like it even when they don’t.)

Locally the berry used in pemmican was usually blueberries, dried and powdered, probably because blueberries are easiest to dry, (but perhaps because blueberries have wondrous, modern stuff called “antioxidants” in them), (not that the word “antioxidants” was invented, back in the day.) But other berries were used as well, including a small berry that grows in the straw. Darned if I can remember its name, but the commercial variety is now as big as plum, while the native variety is as small as a pea. Whatever this berry-that-grows-in-the-straw is called, it usually blooms around now, but this spring has been so retarded I didn’t expect to see any. I checked, just the same, and there it was! The what-cha-call-it berry, blooming in the dead straw! (The children were not all that interested, likely because you can’t eat it yet.) (But they did tell me I was a dope, and the plants are called “strawberries.”)

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And this is how I entertain myself, as the dull, gray, wet day passes. It may not seem all that entertaining to Flatlanders, but then, I am not the one going absolutely bonkers, just because the leaves don’t come out in April.

It’s a damp day, bright May-gray clouds low,
With spring holding back like eyelash’s tears;
Blossoms blinking, wet and drooping, although
Most remain buds, and the forest appears
Like winter’s, except for a green haze
Indistinct midst wet twigs that string bright pearls
Like veils over depth-green hemlocks.
                                                                             This day’s
Drenched though rain’s stopped; boughs bow; and white curls
Of shredded fog stand still on the dark slopes
Of breathless hills.
                                       The clouds are so bright
That all wet things shine; even shadow gropes
With bright reflections.
                                                 The shrouded might
Of rebirth blends wild hope with foreboding,
Silence with the sound of blossoms exploding.

However I should confess that entertaining myself in this manner takes a lot out of me. I huff and puff planting potatoes in a way that is downright embarrassing. Where entertainment once knocked my socks off, now I just wind up too tired to take my socks off.

Wives don’t approve of husbands flopping in bed with dirty socks on, but neither she nor my children will take pity on a weary old man. Granddaughters, however, are different. When my wife complains about socks, and I whine I’m too tired, a two-year-old granddaughter springs into action:

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It all goes to shows you that, in terms of true intelligence, trees come in first, a two-year-old comes in second, and everyone else comes in a very, very distant third.

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LOCAL VIEW –Sapping Taxing Times–

The most miserable times of my life were when my parents separated, and told me nothing because they wanted to “spare” me. (As if a child doesn’t notice a disappeared father.) I think the second winter was the worst, likely because I gradually was worn down by the unceasingly insidious depression, and very quietly underwent a childish breakdown, culminating in a ferocious case of influenza that laid me so low I spent two weeks in bed, including a couple of days of hellish fever dreams (which made me very able to understand and even help people having bad trips on LSD, a half-decade later.)

The good part was that, when I was finally allowed out of bed. it happened to be the first day of winter vacation, so I missed three weeks of school, altogether. Sometimes I think this may have contributed to my recovery more than anything else, for school was poison.

I’d been skipped ahead a grade, which made me the youngest and smallest boy in my class. Being skipped ahead was suppose to challenge and uplift me, but I didn’t find school particularly uplifting.  It was a time of life when twelve months makes a big difference, and all the other children had gone (in my eyes) utterly mad, due to the onset of hormones, while I retained the sanity of childhood. Not that I didn’t boyishly blush when girls smiled at me, but they had stopped doing that, because I seemed to shrink to a point where I practically looked up at their kneecaps when I danced with them. I can’t really blame them for not wanting me to ask them to dance, but, at a time I really could have used some affection, I became the opposite of a status symbol at school. It was no fun going there. A sick bed was preferable. Perhaps even dying was preferable.

I’m sure I sound melodramatic, but it truly was a time when affection came in crumbs, few and far between. My mother had always been distant, and now she was overworked as well, a single-mother pulling twelve-hour-shifts as a night-nurse. The heat was turned down to save on the oil bill, and we suddenly had only 40 watt bulbs, and the darkness and cold was creeping in on me. I never got hugged. It was a very big deal when I got a “Mighty Max” winter coat. That felt almost like a hug, but then the fever hit.

I know affection mattered, because the day I suddenly thought I might be feeling much better was the day my mother efficiently brought the daily hospital-tray with soup and crackers to my sickbed, and matter-of-factly mentioned, “Some girl named Sandra asked about you at the market. She said she hopes you’re feeling better.” I suddenly felt warm and fuzzy. Sandra and I went back a long way.

Love at first sight 13

It is strange what small things can separate times when you constantly feel chilled and shivering, from times you feel so warmed that you can play for hours in the snow and never feel the cold at all. As a boy a girl’s smile could do it, but I never even saw Sandra’s smile, and her parents took her off to Florida for that vacation.

Vacations were always a blessed break from the humiliations of school, but that particular vacation seemed especially blissful, as I did all the things that boys do well, and skipped all the humiliating botheration of dances and sporting teams and homework and tests.

Towards the end of that vacation I did one of the dumb things that boys do so well, which usually make girls detest them. I meant to get a pretty girl’s attention with a snowball, but she turned at just the wrong time and stooped, and the snowball plastered her face like a pie. She was tearful and also absolutely furious, and I felt pretty bad about the attention I had successfully earned, but just then a stroke of genius flashed through my brain. As she ineffectually attempted to fling snowballs into my face I pretended terror, and backed away further and further up a roadside snowbank, until I pretended to fall off the top into a snow-covered bush, uttering a long, drawn-out wail. When I popped my  head up through the snow to see how effective my act had been, I saw the girl laughing, with a warm light in her eyes, and, at the very least, knew I wasn’t loathed any more.

Though my small success didn’t put me up there with Don Juan or James Bond, I felt pretty good about myself after that. To my surprise the sensation lasted even after school started. I didn’t suddenly get “A’s”, or abruptly become the shortest person ever to make the basketball team, but my mood was so good I did manage to stay out of troubles I found for myself, back when I felt bad. There is something about a cringing person that makes you want to give them a swat, but no one wanted to swat me any more, and in fact I was so charming and cheerful that even my fantastic excuses-for-undone-homework brought out the mercy in the grouchier teachers. It amazed me, and I felt like I was on what gamblers call “a roll” and baseball players call “a streak”. It is a wonderful thing, but no one really knows how it happens. In my life it always seems like a warm avalanche overwhelming, set off by the smallest pebble of kindness.

On that long-ago  March First a warm west wind was blowing and the air was filled with the hope of spring, and I climbed to the topmost branches of a tall hemlock next to my home and swayed in the wind, pretending I was up the mast of a clipper ship, and thinking how great I felt, and how great life was, and how odd it was to be free of the gloom that had plagued me all winter. For the first time in my life I felt the urge to express joy in a poem.  I ran out of gas nearly as soon as I started, but I still have the poem:

Spring is here;
It’s that time of year.
Snow will melt quick
And turn into ick.
Another thing to say
Can wait for another day.

Another day came, and went, becoming another decade that came and went, until now it is more than a half century that has come and gone, and still the First of March always gives me a strange sense that hope can appear from darkness, whether the darkness be night or winter or sickness. There is something miraculous about dawns and springs and healing. It is something beyond the dour mathematics of intellectual pragmatism. It defies the tax-accounting, insurance-adjusting mentality, which sees the ravages of time and speaks only of depreciation. Instead it speaks of appreciation.

I think it is a good thing that this mood hits me at this time of year, because it is at this time of year I have to face my taxes. I absolutely loath the paperwork, (perhaps because there is no excuse for not doing homework, at my age),  yet I often grumble the IRS is wise to hit us right when winter has us at our weakest, and we’re least prone to revolt. Boston-Tea-Party-Hero-ABHowever even in April you can push a people too far. Taxes are due April 15, and April 19 remembers Lexington:PatriotsDay1Some think such nonsense is left in the past, but it isn’t. Patriot’s Day is no picnic any more. Boston-Marathon-Bombing

Maraton Victims 58f086c80d57462f94b6836743ec689d-58f086c80d57462f94b6836743ec689d-0-9429Once the prospect of war would have made me thirst to enlist,  (even if I enlisted to be bloodied protesting as a pacifist), but now the glare tends to leave me glum and depressed, and fails to uplift me to the mood I felt as a boy up at the top of a hemlock. The gradual deepening of shadows across the landscape of our times depresses me, and reminds me more of being a boy in my sickbed, fearing the shadows in the corners of my room. I feel old, less strong, less able to take on the lunacy I live amidst. Once I’d take on a tiger on a dare, but now I’m not so sure that would be wise. After all, I’m getting to an age where I’d get some odd looks, if I climbed a hemlock to feel the wind in my face. Even a snapped-off hemlock leaning at a 45 degree angle might test me, though I confess I was tempted, as I watched a boy scramble up one today.Climbing Hemlock IMG_1836

It would be nice if the government treated us elderly geezers with respect, but the elderly might as well be a pack of Rodney Dangerfields. We get no respect.Dangerfield P_Rodney_Dangerfield_1

As soon as a parent or parents has at long-last gotten a child through college, the government increases his or her (or their) taxes, by taking away the “benefit earned” by having a “dependent” on tax returns.  (That word “benefit”irks me, for I am not the one “benefiting” from paying taxes. The government is.)

Not that the economy has much to offer our young graduates when they leave college. Many are unemployed, and they are not avoiding getting a Real Job as I once did, (claiming my real work was to be an “arteest”). Modern youth would work a Real Job if they could, (and in fact they must, to pay off their absurd college loans), but no such Real Jobs exist, thanks to the stupidity of the government’s economic planning, (and the stupidity of they who taught. In fact I think colleges should only be paid with a percentage of graduate’s actual earnings.)  In any case,  the parent must continue to help out, if they really care.

I think this is now a financial fact, and living-with-parents no longer should involve the shame it once did, (as long as the young adult doesn’t waste themselves away, playing video games in their parent’s basement.)

My middle son graduated with a (seemingly) fairly useless college degree in Biology, but he isn’t sitting around waiting for the perfect job to open up (where he would get paid for studying The Songbirds Of Paradise). He’s constantly sending out applications for such  dream-jobs, while working two humbling jobs (at a hospital and coffee shop)  just to meet the mortgage-sized payments on his college loan. So of course I am not going to charge for a spare bedroom. The colleges get the money, as the parents get the shaft.

One thing I am particularly envious of is my son’s energy. After two jobs he keeps right on going, charging off to do something that interests him, such as borrowing a “camera trap” to set up in the woods. (He only seemed slightly discouraged when this effort only rewarded him with 63 pictures of Gray Squirrels.)

Recently I pottered outside to see this odd stuff strung from trees in my snowless backyard:Tapping Maples 1 IMG_1832And this was on my back porch as well:Tapping Maples 2 IMG_1831

I know this is the newfangled way of tapping maples and making maple sugar, and begrudgingly confessed it was amazing that my son had done so much with so little money. He basically bought cheap plumbing-tubing and borrowed stuff. However he soon had a crowd of friends laughing on that porch, as they boiled sap on a Sunday, and I had to be careful changing out of my Sunday-go-to-meeting pants in my own bedroom, because the crowded porch was just outside that bedroom’s window. All the noise and laughter made me grumpy. Largely I think I was just plain jealous.

Mostly I was envious of the energy of youth, and the ability of youth’s hope to forge ahead without seeing all the glitches and pitfalls inherent in hopeful plans. (My son now has a hundred gallons of sap and no free time to boil them). (But we do already have a half gallon of maple syrup; I’d never have the energy to do that; it took me all season last year to get a half gallon, because I only tapped a single tree.) (As I get older my projects get smaller.)

In conclusion I simply have to confess I’m confused. I’m not sure how much of my grouchy mood is mere jealousy, because I don’t have the energy to do what I once did, and how much of my grouchy mood is justified, because I’m an elder, and I deserve respect, damn it all,  and not increased taxes, damn it all. Though my body may be depreciated, I deserve to be appreciated.

TWO SONNETS; POWERLESS AND POWER-MAD

Your will be done, but I tire. The long drought
Stretches like a dry winter: No snowscapes
Catch full moonlight. No victorious shout
Proclaims impossible dreams. Now I pout
Like a child disgruntled, or a dull Jack
Created by too much toil. Let Your song
Be freed. Let me sweetly fall back in love,
For what is work without love? I long
For the quick glance I’m always singing of,
But You seem indifferent. Give one glance.
For I know the difference one glance can make.
It’s been years, but beaming eyes can lance
The dragon of despair, and make a heart break
The chains of aching gray, as sweetest tears
Flow freely. Look at me. It’s been years.

I have seen how tiresome are the trinkets
Of wealth and fame, and how foolish are those
Who trample to gain, who sow cruel thickets
Of penned pain, and reap thorns without a rose.
They tramp pompously strutting through the lush landscape
Of my life, proof positive that to win
By grabbing is about as sweet as rape,
And the only smiles gleaned are a skull’s grin.
I’d rather remember the kind, whose deeds
Gained not wealth nor fame, but blossoming smiles
Even from soured faces. Such caring truly feeds
The hungry; heals the sick. As I cross the miles

Left to cross, I want to see that flower.
So give me not wealth or fame, but that power.

BAD LOSERS

 

Peanuts Comic

It is not merely the physical science behind Global Warming Alarmism that is rotten; the social science is equally rotten. The fiasco involves both the Sciences and the Arts. You cannot stick merely to facts, and avoid the topic of morality. Therefore this examination of the mutated ethics behind Global Warming Alarmism must begin with a very long digression, involving sportsmanship.

I have always admired good losers, because I am not one. For years I have made a New Year’s Resolution to become a better sport, but can’t keep the resolution. It only took me forty years to quit cigarettes, but quitting bad sportsmanship will take me longer.

Perhaps the roots are genetic, and boil down to owning an inherently bad temper, which my older brothers thought was amusing, when I was small. I was easy to disarm, so they would enrage me on purpose, just to see me dash off to the kitchen and come back at them with a carving knife. Then I grew as big as they, and my temper was no longer so amusing. The larger brother became more cautious when he teased, and the smaller one took a course in karate.

It wasn’t fun being a bad sport. I couldn’t lose a game of checkers without my rage uplifting me and sending me stomping about the room, wildly thrashing and accusing the other person of cheating. The only one who would play checkers with me was a special sort of person who was able to say, “You’re right. I cheated. You win. Want to play again?” (He did this so he could beat me again.)

When I grew to be a teenager I found it hard to keep a girlfriend, as most girls don’t particularly like childish displays of temper. But I do remember one diminutive girl who sort of liked beating me at tennis, despite my poor sportsmanship. I relied on brute strength, and towered above her, but she’d been to several tennis camps, owned something called “skill”, and I never could beat her.

The games always began with me saying I didn’t want to play, but she’d guilt me into playing by saying exercise was good for me and tennis was fun and something we could do together (when I was only interested in something else we could do together), so I’d wind up playing, and getting beaten. Sometimes the games began close, because I was much stronger and smashed the ball so hard she could barely see it, but as I tired my inaccuracy increased, and soon I’d be drenched in sweat while she looked cool as a cucumber, and my shots would start to stray and be “out”, and I’d get really mad, which always caused her to try very hard not to smile. That made me really, REALLY mad, so my next shot would be clear over the fence, which might be good in baseball, but in tennis it meant that once again a midget had beaten me.

I tried to explain to women that the reason I raved was because I was “sensitive”, and an artist, and not because I was a really bad sport. Amazingly, this sometimes worked, but not for all that long.

Another excuse for stomping about and raving was that I owned a “healthy competitive instinct”. This worked with the football coach, but not very well with women. Come to think of it, it didn’t work very well with my fellow artists, either, for back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s being competitive was not “hip”. It wasn’t “mellow”, “layed-back”, (and other words no one uses any more). In fact among artists having a “healthy competitive spirit” meant you were aggressive, a militant “hawk”, and a loser.

This exposed me to a perplexing ambiguity, for artists tended to be a collection of losers to begin with. They tended to flunk all their classes and never went out for sports. The only way they could see themselves as winners was to totally redefine everything, and to call winners “losers”, and to call losers like themselves “winners”. (Do not ask, “What about the production of actual art?” Being an artist back then was more a matter of who you hung out with, and where you hung out, and how you wore your beatnik beret, and, increasingly, what drugs you took.)

A shocking number of these friends of mine died young, either due to drugs or to AIDS, which would tend to suggest that when you are a loser you do lose, were it not for the fact that the survivors of this morally twisted collection of winners-are-losers nitwits are now running our nation, which is why my experience among losers is valuable, even though I myself was not very good at being a loser, and in fact was a bad loser.

Initially I had the required attributes of being a loser: I got poor grades and did badly on the teams I bothered to go out for. However I was a very bad sport about it. Then, as I gravitated towards artists, I discovered I was a loser even among the losers. I was a very bad sport about that as well.

It made me realize I was after something that the winners were not after, and the losers were not after. I needed to do some redefining of my own. Just as my fellow artists had redefined themselves as winners, despite being losers, I needed (simply to muster the self-esteem necessary for my egotistical survival), to redefine myself as a winner, despite the fact I was bad at winning and bad at losing.

Such a redefinition is no small matter. It has taken me half a century. Therefore you will have to forgive me if I digress yet again and take up a little less than a half-century of your time.

The pride and shame of New England is that we seemingly have a habit of redefinition. Sometimes the redefinition is a shining advance, and sometimes we fix something that wasn’t broken, and sometimes it is both. Both good and bad ideas have unintended consequences.

It continued long after the Boston Tea Party sparked a Revolutionary War, where the good idea of Liberty cost the young nation 1% of its population. A half-century later Oliver Wendell Holmes demanded doctors wash their hands (a decade before Louis Pasteur got the credit for discovering germs), and inadvertently this caused a crisis in the Church at a time when New England was the “Bible Belt,” (because germs were an invisible power other than God.) Not long after that other redefiners pushed the radical idea that slavery should be abolished in all places, which rather than mere paper legislation inadvertently led to the horrible slaughter of the Civil War, which cost nearly as many American lives as all the nation’s other wars combined.

And so it has continued, on and on, into my boyhood, where Timothy Leary advanced ideas about Liberty involving sex and LSD, inadvertently involving tragic consequences that many of us have seen play out with our own eyes, involving people we cared (and care) for deeply.

In conclusion, redefinition is no laughing matter, and nothing to take lightly. You can’t blithely reform things like the Ten Commandments or the American Constitution, without facing reverberations of a magnitude that is far from blithe.

To return to the topic of sports, as a boy I noticed New Englanders tend to be less athletic than the rest of the nation, perhaps due long winters stuck indoors, and perhaps due to an overdose of colleges and universities. New Englanders tend to be intellectual, rather than physical. Back in the last century the idea was that the only way New England could have a good sporting team was to invent a new sport. And this was proven by the fact that, during my boyhood, New England had among the nation’s worst baseball, football, and hockey teams, however we invented basketball, and had the best team for a while, before the rest of the nation figured out how to play better than our star Bob Cousy (who was ambidextrous and could amazingly (for that time) ball-handle with both hands!!!) (Nearly every player does that now.)Bob Cousy 122303Photo_Cousy

Considering I was a bad loser, it was rough to grow up last century, and be a boy supporting the last-place Red Sox, last-place Bruins, and last-place Patriots. You might think that, since I had so much experience supporting last-place teams, I would have become a better loser, but it didn’t work out that way. Instead it fed an intense craving within me to win.

I think this is how the psyche works. When we experience loss we replay it in our minds. The psychologists may call it “Post Traumatic Stress”, but we are replaying the films of the past game, noting the mistakes, and planning to play better in the next game. We own a craving to improve.

I often see this manifest the morning after the Patriots have lost a close football game. When I open our Farm-childcare, I get to see the state young parents are in, in the dusk before dawn, and after a Patriots loss many look haggard as they drop off their kids. They have suffered insomnia, as their mind kept replaying crucial plays, and they agonized over the details. Usually it is the young men who care about football, but the young wives suffered as well, for they had to sleep with the thrashing, kicking, sighing, muttering insomniacs. And of course I am able to empathize and commiserate, for I am the worst loser of them all.

This agony of defeat does not seem to be truly slaked by the thrill of victory. This century has seen New England win more than its fair share of championships, and an entire generation has grown up without a clue of what it was like to be a New Englander last century, but if anything championships have only increased the craving for victory, and made the agony of defeat worse. What’s more, if you win too often you become despised.darth-sidious-bill-belichick

Just as I used to stomp around raving and accuse friends of cheating when I lost at checkers, New England fans have discovered winning means you get accused of cheating. Cheaties 48971be54e96c1119e28f275122c9f4c_belichick_cheaties

It is interesting to stand back from all the emotion inherent in the agony of defeat, and see what actual improvements come from the pains of Post Traumatic Stress. One thing that becomes swiftly apparent is the importance of the rules. As one devises new and improved trick plays, one must constantly refer to the rulebook, to make sure the adjustments are legal. For example, one option that springs into my mind, during the agony of defeat, is to shoot the opponents. There is nothing in the NFL rulebook prohibiting this (I checked) however that isn’t the only rulebook we need to refer to.

And here’s where it gets interesting. It turns out that the rules we actually write down in the rulebook, for any particular sport, are but a dim reflection of higher and greater laws, which are “self evident”. These laws can be divided into two basic types. There are physical laws, such as the law of gravity, and then there are spiritual laws, which people tend to be a little squeamish about discussing.

In the case of football the physical laws come up because the amazing athletes push their physical limits. The spiritual laws come up when we attempt to keep them from hurting themselves too badly, and because we should care for these amazing men after they have sacrificed their bodies (and sometimes brains) and are crippled.

In the case of politics, and especially the politics of Global Warming, the exact same factors come into play, though some might protest politics is not a sport. But politics does involve winners and losers, and a rulebook called our laws, and the temptation to “amend” the laws, and to “redefine” how the game is played, and even what constitutes “winning”. It requires we be civil, if we are to call ourselves “civilized”, and that we follow certain set procedures we call “civil procedures”. And here again we see two basic types of laws that restrain man within certain limits: Physical laws and spiritual laws.

The physical laws are easier to deal with, because they are more obvious, though not always clear to a layman. They involve science and engineering, and require scientists and engineers to explain some of their less obvious details. For example, I once had a friend who wanted to install a huge hot tub up in her bedroom; despite the fact her plumber worried about the pressure this put on the drains. She learned to listen, after a major flood downstairs. Physical laws represent Truths that will not be mocked.

Spiritual laws are harder to deal with, because they often run counter to more selfish laws that politicians deal with, that are tantamount to a sort of Law Of The Jungle. For example, a politician needs to curry favor among constituents, and this sometimes tempts them to hand out money and jobs inappropriately, with the money diverted from the people and the job it was earmarked for. In the case of the levees of New Orleans, very little of the money Washington sent to improve the levees was actually spent on the levees, while a lot went to various sorts of “inspectors”, and to lawyers involved in endless environmental lawsuits. The result of this was that, when Katrina arrived, the levees were not ready to hold back the flood. It did not matter that the Law Of The Jungle had been obeyed, when The Law Of Nature arrived.

Politicians always claim they need more money, but money is useless if corruption misappropriates it. Few projects have involved cost overruns as insanely huge as Boston’s “Big Dig”, but the vast expense couldn’t change the result when substandard materials were used, resulting in a dangerously leaky tunnel that has already killed a driver with a roof collapse. Bostonians were happy when there were lots of jobs and Federal funds were being flung about, but they will be less amused when a tunnel-collapse cuts their city in half.

The Law Of The Jungle seems smart in the short term, but in the long term Truth will not be mocked. It is for this reason the Navy conducts trials. They will not trust a ship given to them by bureaucrats. The last high-speed troop carrier delivered to the Navy had its bow cave in, the first time it was tested in heavy seas. You don’t want to discover a shortcoming like that in the middle of a war.

It is hard to have such a trial when you are building a bridge, and it is embarrassing to all concerned when a brand new bridge has a structural failure, as occurred recently with the Nipigon Bridge in Canada. Glitches like that are suppose to be seen and ironed out when things are still in the planning phases, and not after a bridge is already built.

The sad fact of the matter is that we are likely to see more of these costly mistakes, not fewer, as long as we allow the political Law Of The Jungle to rule science and engineering. The sooner we erect some sort of barrier between politics and science the better off we will be.

This seems unlikely to occur until people recognize they can’t take the money and run. There seems to instead be the attitude that it doesn’t matter if levees fail in New Orleans, tunnels collapse in Boston, and bridges close in Canada, as long as one can retire safely to Florida. People think they can escape the consequences.

However this implies there are consequences, and some are not even willing to admit that. They assume they are the winner in a situation that causes others loss, and that others are the losers. They think that if there is karma to face or hell to pay, others will face it, as they sit back, eat cherries, and laugh last.

This is not how the Law Of The Jungle works. The king of the jungle doesn’t get to retire to Florida. The moment he shows any sign of weakness, he faces the jungle-consequences of weakness, of aging. Only a civil society cares for their elderly, or even allows the elderly to become philanthropists. In the jungle, as soon as you weaken, all your wealth is taken. That is just the way it works, when you abandon civil procedures and ignore spiritual laws.

Because of this some adopt a splendid hypocrisy, wherein they ignore civil procedures while amassing their fortune, but as soon as they have their hoarded pile they become very, very interested in the very same civil procedures they once so blithely ignored. Few onlookers buy this double standard, (though some will nod and put on an agreeable face, if paid a high enough salary). Gradually the hypocrite experiences a dawning, painful to behold, wherein they move from calling others suckers to realizing who the sucker actually was.

It turns out civil society is based on spiritual laws involving fairly simple concepts, such as being a good neighbor, and that it is better-to-give-than-receive. Some lawyers might scrutinize the scriptures of various lands and say it is only better-to-give-than-receive ten percent of the time (because “tithe” means “ten percent”), but nearly all religions include the concept of “charity”. However it is when examining the concept of “charity” that the most horrendous hypocrisy and most stupendous violations of spiritual law are seen.

The simple fact of the matter is that you are not supposed to get richer if you give. If you have a hundred credits and give ten percent, you are suppose to only have ninety credits left. Therefore you should be highly suspicious if you notice the giver winds up with three hundred credits. That money is coming from somewhere, and more often than not it is stolen from the very poor the charity was suppose to be helping in the first place.

I will not belabor you with countless examples of people who claim they are spiritual, and helping the widows and orphans, the sick, the oppressed, and those in prison, yet who wind up wealthier, even as those they claimed they would help wind up worse off. I’m certain you can think up examples of this gross hypocrisy on your own. What I would like to propose is that such behavior is actually the antithesis of charity, and a major violation of spiritual law.

It seems to me that, just as an engineer cannot mock physical Truths, people who work outside the sciences cannot mock spiritual Truths. In both cases the mocker will face a day of reckoning. Brown stuff will hit the fan. In the case of do-gooders, fewer and fewer will be persuaded by the altruistic arguments of the ones who claim they do-good. People disbelieve that glib altruism, when the speaker resembles a fat tick bloating off the lifeblood of a nation.

Rather than depressing you with examples of people involved in Global Warming discussions who resemble fat ticks, I think it would be less depressing to revert to contemplating young artists, and their losers-are-winners attitude.

When you come right down to it, art is very rarely a way to get rich. For 99.99% of all artists, giving the gift they were given is a form of charity, for the artists does not see much material gain. Even if they get some money thrown into their guitar case, as they play on a sidewalk, they could likely be making far more money hammering nails at a construction site. And many others do not play, or paint, or compose, or write, in public at all. They sing for their family, or friends, or in a church choir. They give for the joy of giving. That may be why poets are defined, in Sufi humor, as “proud beggars”.

This underscores the fact that the benefit of art, and all gift-giving, and all charity, is not a thing measured in dollars. Unfortunately, a very few artists, perhaps .01%, are so amazingly good that they do make piles of dollars. In my generation the example of this was the Beatles. By being successful they inadvertently gave the other 99.99% the false hope that they too might someday be millionaires, and “winners”. However the Beatles made their money by being more honest than most, and one truth they dared to sing was that that they were not the winners they appeared to be.

I sure wish I got paid millions for publicly confessing I’m a loser, but it hasn’t worked out that way for me, or for the other 99.99% of all artists. The real “pay” for art is in the joy of giving. This is why we speak of “playing” a guitar rather than “working” a guitar. The funny thing is that when you inform many young artists that they will not get paid as much as the Beatles for playing, they say, “Then the heck with it,” in which case they were not really artists. They were in it for the money, which makes them con artists. (Other artists get a Real Job to make money, but continue their art for joy, which is described by saying they have a “vocation” and an “avocation”).

The fact of the matter is that there is a distinction that needs to be made between the Arts and Sciences, but many of my generation failed to make it. Somehow they got it into their heads that giving should make you materially rich, and that charity should be profitable. What is more, they took steps to make charity lucrative, even though that violates spiritual law and is strangely grotesque, like a nursing mother with coin-slots on her breasts.

One .01% artist was Bono of “U2”, who became rich and famous enough to be asked to give the commencement address at a major American university, and he told our youth, “Every age has its massive moral blind spots. We might not see them, but our children will.”

I think that future generations will look back at Baby Boomers, and will be stunned by our delusion that giving should gain the giver material wealth. It doesn’t. The wealth gained through giving is measured in joy. However so insistent are some that money must come from charity that they will ignore all the evidence so freely given by Reality, when one foolishly ignores physical and spiritual Truths. Truth will not be mocked, but when faced with the complete bankruptcy of their beliefs, some will just print more money.

“Just print more money.” Isn’t that the sign of a counterfeiter? To me it is also the sign of a bad loser, who can’t even admit that he or she lost the game with Truth.

(I could give countless examples from the history of Global Warming Alarmism of how individuals have lost the game, both in terms of physical laws and spiritual laws, but as this essay is already too long, I’ll leave the giving of specific examples to others.)

(Anthony Watts graciously posted this essay on his site:  http://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/02/07/a-note-about-bad-losers-and-global-warming-on-super-bowl-sunday/ )

ROMANIANS AND BRITISH AGREE: WINTER IS ONE MONTH EARLY

From a Romanian site here: http://www.antena3.ro/actualitate/trenuri-blocale-si-localitati-fara-energie-electrica-din-cauza-caderilor-de-zapada-318120.html

Comes news of an early season snowfall that stopped trains, mostly because the trains are electric and trees dropped limbs onto the lines over the trains.

Trenuri blocale şi localităţi fără energie electrică, din cauza căderilor de zăpadă 16

Crudely translated, the report states this:

Travellers from personal train Suceava – Cacica were taken by minibus and taken home after the train was stopped Sunday afternoon in the station Todireşti, said County Council (CJ) Suceava, John Catalin Nechifor, according to Agerpres. The train was stopped at the station after power line was damaged because of falling trees and branches that yielded abundant snow. However, Nechifor said that another issue was brought before the train Ilva Mica – Suceava which was stopped after probably , trees fell on power grid, between the towns Kindergarten and Larion. According to Nechifor during the evening railway line between Transylvania and Suceava will be functional.Also, President CJ Suceava showed that there were failures in the electricity supply in the area Campulung Moldovenesc, but in Vatra Moldoviţei teams E.ON interfering spot for redeploying the network.

Moldova has a report on this website http://stirileprotv.ro/stiri/actualitate/cod-galben-de-ploi-si-ninsori-in-toata-tara-si-cod-portocaliu-in-suceava-si-neamt-unde-stratul-de-zapada-va-depasi-10cm.ht and the report there contains the significant (crudely translated) statement, ” Traffic was blocked on the road between Suceava and Gura Humorului, where winds broke several power cables. Shortly after it started to snow heavily, two cars had crashed violently on the same road.All seven people, located in both cars arrived at the hospital. Young: “It’s too early winter, we did not expect, now move on warm clothes.” Hostel from the mountains of the county Neamt snow deposited on leaves still green trees and grass.

If winter came when the leaves were still green, even the trees got fooled. Considering they spend more time outside than humans do, it is little wonder if humans were taken by surprise.

The culprit for the cold has been a high pressure which, on my Sea-ice posts, I named “CPR” (which was short for “Cross Polar Ridge”.) This ridge of high pressure for a while extended from Bering Strait to Norway, and the winds on the Eurasian side of this cross-polar feature drew air from the East Siberian Sea to Finland and then south towards the Caspian. The cold air has resulted in snow-cover far south in western Russia.Swan 1 ims2015285

This same high pressure “CPR” has largely faded away over the Pole, collapsing south over Europe and now forming a ridge extending from just north of the Caspian Sea all the way west to Britain. East winds now blow in an arc from Siberia to Ireland.Swan 3 gfs_precip_mslp_eur_3Much cold air came south with this high pressure. (Temperature in this map are in Fahrenheit, and pink represents below freezing.) Swan 2 cmc_t2m_eur_3

It can be seen that this high pressure’s east winds would be transporting the cold air to the west, and riding the back of these east winds were Bewick’s Swans.

Britain facing 'longest winter in 50 years' as Siberian swan arrives early

Unlike the trees of Romania, ducks, geese and swans are unlikely to be fooled. This likely occurs because they spend a lot of their time with their butts in water, and know when water is about to freeze. It would be big trouble if your butt got frozen into a lake, and in the case of the larger birds some need water to run across in order to get airborne. In fact some go so far as to suggest it was ducks that first spoke the phrase, “Get my ass out of here.”

Apparently swans have a habit of staying just ahead of the freeze, and there is a Russian expression that states, “The swan brings snow on its bill”, because they tend to fly just ahead of the first severe cold. Therefore, when the first Bewick’s Swan landed in a sanctuary in Slimbridge, Glouchestershire a month earlier than last year, and earlier than ever reported since records started to be kept (in 1963), people feared it might signify the start of a long, cold winter.

http://travel.aol.co.uk/2015/10/13/uk-weather-longest-winter-50-years-siberian-swan-arrives-early/

The story was picked up by the Telegraph which added “Spurred on by bitter north easterly winds, many of the swans are currently gathering in the Netherlands, with 45 on Lake Gooimeer and 80 on Lake Lauwersmeer.” and they also had some cool pictures:Bewick's swans have migrated to Slimbridge every winter since 1963

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/weather/11926752/Britain-faces-longest-winter-in-50-years-after-earliest-ever-arrival-of-Siberian-swan.html

So there you have it, one of the rare cases of people in Romania agreeing with people in England.

People tend to form a beautiful variety of cultures which some, calling themselves “progressive”,  oppose, thinking a bland, international McWorld culture would be better, and individuality should be abolished in all its forms, including the variations that lead to some being called English and some being called Romanians. I think this would be a huge loss, and would be preferring the myopia of Cyclops to the depth perception which owning two eyes and two views allows.

However I must admit two views can involve distrust. Here in New England the Natives have always distrusted the Newcomers, and any deal made with “the other side” was suspect.  For this reason the word “Indian” was sometimes used (until it became politically incorrect) to indicate something you couldn’t trust. An “Indian Giver” was someone who gave you something they later took back, and “Indian Summer” was a late autumn warm spell liable to be followed by very un-summery weather. Even more politically incorrect was the word for an early cold snap, which often preceded an “Indian Summer”, which was called a “Squaw winter”. “Squaw” was the word for an Indian woman, and now is deemed very racist, sexist, and very, very naughty.  Therefore, in the bland spirit of internationalism, I should say, “Early Winter” and “Late Summer”. Bleah. I figure there are too few adjectives as it is, and if I have to say “An early winter followed by a late summer may mean a hard winter,” it lacks the meaning of, “A squaw winter followed by an Indian summer grows the stingy Yankee’s woodpile.” Political incorrectness communicates more.

In any case, the old, weatherwise Yankee I once knew didn’t say a squaw winter always foretold a hard winter. It did set them on edge, but they could speak of early snows that were followed by relatively mild winters. They knew weather is complex, and were always scanning the skies for updates.

However one thing they put a lot of stock in was the behavior of wildlife. I’m quite sure they would tell the people of England to pay attention to those Bewick’s Swans, even if the current cold spell is followed by a nice, long, warm spell.

(A hat tip to Ben Vorlich for alerting me to the swans in England. Also to http://iceagenow.info/ for the information about early snows in eastern Europe,) (which now includes Bulgaria:    iceagenow.info/2015/10/heavy-snow-in-bulgaria/  )

PS   …MEANWHILE, HERE IN NORTH AMERICA…

Here’s a report from Maine about how short the snow-free period was this year. (Maine is the most northeasterly state of the USA.)

PPS   …Meanwhile, in Russia…

From the site:  http://hmn.ru/index.php?index=1&ts=151014130514

Where snow cover was established?

IA “Meteonovosti” / 13:05 Wednesday, October 14

  October 14 national calendar – Protection of the day. On this day in Russia celebrated the meeting of autumn to winter. According to folk etymology, the name of the holiday is associated with the first snow that covered the ground. And where in Russia is now the snow has covered the ground? The snow cover is confidently gaining the north of the Far East. The white blanket has covered herself most of the territory of Yakutia and Magadan region, and in some places it has reached the height of 30 cm. Chance of snow (height 1-5 cm) is in the central regions of Khabarovsk and Primorye territories. In Eastern Siberia is a bit of snow, the snow cover was formed only in places Taimyr, Evenkia and north of Turukhansk district. But in Western Siberia, which in October had already been invaded by snow cyclone it is snow in most areas. In the south, the snow depth is substantially greater than 5 cm, but in the north, in the Yamal-Nenets district snow cover in some places more than 20 cm. Uncharacteristic early dressed in white Urals. After a heavy snowfall, which took place here at the end of the first decade of October, in the west of the Sverdlovsk Region the snow cover in some places more than 30 cm in many areas of the Perm region of 18 to 25 cm, is covered with snow and the South Urals. On the European territory of Russia is snow in the east Middle Volga (up to 5 cm). Closed by snow most of the territory of the Komi Republic, and in some places the snow depth reaches 30 cm. In the east of the Nenets Autonomous District of snow cover reached 10-15 cm. /  Meteonovosti.ru  /

LOCAL VIEW -Hurricane Joaquin-Updated Wednesday morning

It is hard to get properly alarmed about hurricanes any more. Sooner or later we will get clobbered, and no matter how much warning is done before hand, the storm will be reported as coming either “without warning” or “with little warning.”

For what it’s worth, here is a warning I wrote for WUWT in 2012, which contains quotes from an earlier warning I wrote for Accuweather in 2006:

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/08/21/hurricane-warning-mckibben-alert/

After so many years of warning people, I feel like a hybrid cross between Chicken Little and The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  “The Chicken Who Cried Wolf”, perhaps.

I’m sick of it. I’m done with it. The simple fact of the matter is, it is too late. All you can do is rush out and buy some milk, along with all the other freaked-out people, if Hurricane Joaquin turns out to be “The Big One”.

It probably won’t. It will probably turn out to sea. Hurricane’s usually do, which is what breeds the sense of complacency, and even invulnerability.  Just before the 1938 hurricane completely trashed New England a college professor, professing to be an authority, announced that “hurricanes could not hit New England”, (for some reason it is best we forget). In that case a major hurricane hadn’t hit New England in over a hundred years. And, as it hasn’t been a hundred years since the 1938 hurricane, Joaquin probably won’t hit us.

If it does hit us, it will follow these three steps. One, it will mill about to our south, growing strong. Two, it will turn north and, still strengthening, start to take the characteristic accelerating path to the northeast and out to sea. And Three, “without warning” it will, accelerating even more, hook back to the northwest and clobber New England.

The amount of time the public will have between step 2 and step 3 will be around six hours. As you go to bed the late night news will be reporting the hurricane is heading out to sea, and when you awake the winds already will be rising. I’m convinced that, given the correct set of circumstances, not even the billions spent on satellites and computer models make all that much difference. (It might be interesting to plug the information we have concerning the 1938 hurricane, or Hurricane Carol in 1954, into our modern computers, and see if they recognized the threat 12 hours before New England got pummeled.)

When young I walked woods where all the rotting tree trunks lay in the same direction, and have seen those trunks slowly rot away, until now you can barely make out a long line of moss where the trunk once lay, and a low pile of stones where the roots once were torn from the earth. The forest is now full of pines over sixty years old. It is hard to believe the entire woods was flattened in a single hour, by Carol.

Some of those woods are now full of houses. I’m tired of coming across as an old crab, telling people their idyll is doomed. They worked long and hard to come up with the down-payment, and continue to work long and hard to come up with the mortgage payments, and the doom might not come in their lifetimes. Who needs some chicken crying wolf?

Of course, doom might come next Monday. But in that case it is likely too late to do much more than buy milk, ice, (and toilet paper. Don’t forget the toilet paper.)

I myself have a generator, plenty of containers that will hold plenty of gas, and a wood stove I can cook on, and firewood, and pigs and goats to feed the neighbors with, after their milk goes sour when their coolers run out of ice.  (But I’m not sharing my toilet paper. One has to draw the line somewhere.)

So I am just going to sit back and watch, to see if Joaquin heads out to sea or not. This post will contain updates, (and also poetry, which some flee from faster than they do hurricanes).

Hurricane Joaquin 2 HUIR(5)20151001 satsfc

(Click maps and pictures to clarify and enlarge.)

Currently the stationary front would seemingly protect the east coast. The problem is that low off Florida. If that digs into the upper atmosphere it can change the “steering currents,” and a hurricane headed safely northeast out to sea can back to the northwest.

To the south again lurks the hurricane
Making mockery of idyllic palms,
Balming breezes, and sweet rum that calms pain
Served by babes in grass skirts. Instead a bomb’s
Hidden in the wrapping paper. The south
Holds no mercy for the north’s limping troops.
Poison brims the bloom sipped by the bee’s mouth.
Youth tastes time and grows gray and stoops.
Low moaning’s in the music, a background
Full of ominous portents of doom.

Is this then the harvest? The crop found
By one who bouquets the wrong sort of bloom?
Love we should sow, but the world is insane
And builds on a beach before a hurricane.

MONDAY MORNING

Hurricane Joaquin 1002 HUIR

500 AM EDT FRI OCT 02 2015

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS JOAQUIN MOVING SLOWLY NORTHWESTWARD AS IT
BATTERS THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS...
...HURRICANE CONDITIONS TO CONTINUE OVER THE CENTRAL BAHAMAS
TODAY...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM EDT...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...23.3N 74.7W
ABOUT 20 MI...35 KM NE OF CLARENCE LONG ISLAND BAHAMAS
ABOUT 50 MI...80 KM SSW OF SAN SALVADOR
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...130 MPH...215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NW OR 315 DEGREES AT 3 MPH...6 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...935 MB...27.61 INCHES

Hurricane Jiaquin 1002B uv900_swath_nest3__2_(1)

Notice how the model swings it back towards New England before curving it out to sea. That makes a fellow nervous.

AFTERNOON MAP

It is still just sitting down there, nudging ever so slightly north. 20151002 satsfc

SUMMARY OF 800 PM EDT...0000 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...24.3N 74.3W
ABOUT 25 MI...40 KM NNE SAN SALVADOR BAHAMAS
ABOUT 795 MI...1280 KM SW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...125 MPH...205 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 40 DEGREES AT 7 MPH...11 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...943 MB...27.85 INCHES

I’d hate to be holed up in the central Bahamas right now. Sustained winds of 125 mph, and Joaquin is only slowly crawling away. At least in New England a hurricane comes plowing through at top speed, and is in and out before you really know what has hit you.  The 1938 hurricane was moving at over 50 mph when it clouted New England, but Joaquin is only moving at 7 mph.  By the time it finally moves away they won’t have a palm tree left. God help them.

At least it is moving NE, away from land.

SATURDAY NIGHT UPDATE 

...EXTREMELY DANGEROUS HURRICANE JOAQUIN CONTINUING NORTHEASTWARD
TOWARD BERMUDA...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...28.0N 68.9W
ABOUT 385 MI...620 KM SW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...130 MPH...215 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 50 DEGREES AT 20 MPH...31 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...944 MB...27.88 INCHES

Now is when the hurricane starts to accelerate harmlessly  (unless you live on Bermuda) out to sea, and everyone goes to bed unsuspecting. The “Big One” will shock people with a very different forecast in the morning, but that only happens 1% of the time.  Sleep well.

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

...OUTER RAINBANDS AFFECTING BERMUDA...
...DAMAGING WINDS EXPECTED ON BERMUDA LATER TODAY...


SUMMARY OF 800 AM AST...1200 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...30.4N 67.1W
ABOUT 210 MI...340 KM SW OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...115 MPH...185 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 35 DEGREES AT 21 MPH...33 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...956 MB...28.23 INCHES

Joaquin continues to head out to sea, but I’m not lowering my guard quite yet, as our steely gray skies and east wind have given way to blue skies with an east wind, which means the high pressure is coming down over us. This is great if it shunts the hurricane out to sea, but bad news if it manages to get in front of the hurricane. In the upper atmosphere map below you can see what the computer model imagines we will see tomorrow morning. (Dr. Ryan Maue map from Joseph D’Aleo’s site at Weatherbell.)Joaquin 4 ecmwf_z500a_noram_7

The above map shows the low pressure off Carolina and the high pressure ahead of Joaquin which, in a worst case scenario, could sling it northwest. Those much wiser than I are fairly certain it will “escape” northeast, though Joseph D’Aleo states those on Cape Cod shouldn’t entirely lower their guard quite yet, and they will get some good surf.

A weirder solution would have Joaquin slow and do a loop. One of the weirdest solutions I have seen occurred in 1971, when I was about to sail south on a teenager’s misadventure.  A hurricane named Ginger headed out to sea, and then stopped, and spent a solid week slowly backing west and making a mess of all sailor’s plans. But that is a story for another time. I’ll just say I’m glad I’m not out on a boat this October 4, in the waters of Buzzard’s Bay heading south, as I was that October 4. Sometimes being an old man looking at maps and satellite pictures isn’t all bad.

Joanquin 4 HUIR(7)

SUNDAY EVENING UPDATE

...RAGGED EYE OF JOAQUIN PASSING JUST TO THE WEST OF BERMUDA...
...TROPICAL STORM CONDITIONS CONTINUE ON THE ISLAND...


SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...32.2N 66.4W
ABOUT 95 MI...150 KM W OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...100 MPH...155 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 15 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...958 MB...28.29 INCHES

It is swerving slightly back towards land, but no one seems the slightest bit concerned, as the the westerlies are coming south to the north, and also the storm is weakening some.  

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

Winds shifting a little south of east, here in New Hampshire, with only the crescent moon and bright Venus able to shine through a thin layer of strato-cumulus coming inland from the sea. Some higher clouds remotely seen through this lower deck, coming from the southeast. I’d be more nervous if wiser men weren’t certain the remote possibility of a sneak-attack-hurricane has faded away.  Joaquin likely will curve east and make a beeline for the Azores, but it currently is swerving just a little towards the NNE to see if it can get me to flinch.

...JOAQUIN EXPECTED TO MOVE AWAY FROM BERMUDA TODAY...


SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...34.1N 65.2W
ABOUT 125 MI...205 KM N OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 25 DEGREES AT 13 MPH...20 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...964 MB...28.47 INCHES

MONDAY EVENING UPDATE

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...35.8N 64.0W
ABOUT 245 MI...395 KM N OF BERMUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...85 MPH...140 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NNE OR 30 DEGREES AT 12 MPH...19 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...964 MB...28.47 INCHES

TUESDAY UPDATE

...JOAQUIN SLOWLY WEAKENING WHILE ACCELERATING NORTHEASTWARD...


SUMMARY OF 1100 AM AST...1500 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...38.3N 59.6W
ABOUT 665 MI...1075 KM SSW OF CAPE RACE NEWFOUNDLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...80 MPH...130 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...NE OR 55 DEGREES AT 18 MPH...30 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...974 MB...28.77 INCHES

Today Joaquin made up its mind and hitched a ride on the Westerlies across the Atlantic towards England.

20151006 satsfcEven as Joaquin vanishes off the right margin of the map that describes New England’s world view, Old England sees it appear on the left margin of the UK Met map describing their world view:Surface pressure chart - Forecast T+12 - Issued at: 0800 on Tue 6 Oct 2015

The UK Met has what is left of Joaquin running along the north coast of Spain next Sunday, so I may update this post a few times more, though it isn’t really a “local view”

However at this point I should likely tip my hat to the forecasters who had the nerve to go out on a limb and guess where this dangerous storm was going to go, especially Joe Bastardi over at Weatherbell, who did the best I saw, even though he did adjust is forecast from up-the-coast to out-to-sea. He made his adjustments before others, and all in all did an amazingly good job of predicting what cannot be predicted.

I stand by my guns, when it comes to the fact that one of these days one of these storms will look all the world like it is going out to sea, and then will swerve back northwest and shatter the windows of Boston’s skyscrapers while ripping just west of town, heading north at 50 mph. However even a blind squirrel can find a nut. I will be wrong 99 times before I am right once, as a guy like Joe Bastardi is right 99 times before he is wrong once.

But when I’m finally right, won’t I ever get the spotlight!  Headlines written by idiots will suggest I’m a better forecaster than Mr. Bastardi.  And me?  Hopefully I’ll have the brains to milk my day in the sun, and wind up nicely tanned.

In which case you should tap me on the shoulder, and remind me I am just an Eeyore.Eeyore rsz_eeyore61_5881_5847

WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION
----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...40.5N 49.4W
ABOUT 465 MI...750 KM SSE OF CAPE RACE NEWFOUNDLAND
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...75 MPH...120 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...ENE OR 75 DEGREES AT 32 MPH...52 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...977 MB...28.85 INCHES

WEDNESDAY NIGHT UPDATE

...JOAQUIN HAS BECOME A POST-TROPICAL CYCLONE...
...THIS IS THE LAST ADVISORY...


SUMMARY OF 1100 PM AST...0300 UTC...INFORMATION
-----------------------------------------------
LOCATION...42.0N 37.0W
ABOUT 595 MI...960 KM WNW OF THE AZORES
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...65 MPH...100 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT...E OR 80 DEGREES AT 35 MPH...56 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...977 MB...28.85 INCHES

Surface pressure chart - Analysis - Issued at: 0800 on Wed 7 Oct 2015

Current forecasts show a greatly weakened Joaquin sliding along the north coast of Spain and then ducking south along the France-Spain border into the Mediterranean by next Monday.

ARCTIC SEA ICE —One Whale Of A Slot—(August 20-24, 2015 — Concluded)

People have been probing the arctic for slots in the Sea-Ice for a long, long time.Whaler 1 ross1-1Back when more than half of all Americans were farmers, farming was only a way to get by. Whaling was a way to get rich, and tempted many to take risks.Whaler 2 currier-ives-capturing-the-whaleSome of the gambles taken and lost cannot be verified by historical records, but live as lore.Whaler 3 AmericanWhalersCrushedInTheIce

However the owners of the whaling boats demanded that captains of the the ships they moved north like pieces on a chess board keep very accurate logs, so they could later pour over the logs and decide where to move the ships the following years. These logs represent a fabulous treasure trove of information about what sea-ice did in the past.

The blogger “TonyB” merely scratched the surface of this wealth, and humbly confessed that the information he gathered was merely the tip of an iceberg (pun), but produced a superb paper that is a treasure trove in its own right, and was published first on “The Air Vent” and later on “Watts Up With That”.  As far as I’m concerned, it is required reading for all who wish to pretend they know diddlysquat about sea-ice.

http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/20/historic-variation-in-arctic-ice/

Sadly, there exists a group of slapstick scientists who have never figured out how to utilize history, when they create a computer model. History may tell us that history is repeating itself, as slots appear in the sea-ice, for sailors of the past found and sailed through such slots, however to certain slapstick scientists such slots are “unprecedented”.

The slots I am referring to (huge in the Beaufort Sea, and a mere notch in the ice northeast of Greenland), are best shown in this map:Slot N_bm_extent_hires

The above NSIDC map is notorious for using a huge grid and clumsy automated apparatus to  create ice-free areas on maps, where other observers report ice. But the value of such simplicity is that it makes notches more obvious. For example the Canadian Ice Service makes the huge Beaufort Sea notch far less obvious, due to its fine grid and meticulous attention to detail. (In the upper left of the map below.)Slot Aug 17 CMMBCTCA

Cryosphere Today avoids this Canadian problem because, even though their map has a key to the upper left which shows 20% ice concentration will be shown by a blue color, their printer ran out of blue ink a decade ago, and their system is so obsolete no one can figure out a place to reorder blue ink. [sarc/off] The result is that their map shows the slot very clearly.Whaler 4 cryo_latest_small

However frequent visitors to this site kniw we are not satisfied with the virtual reality of computer maps based on models based on satellite data which itself has been through a model or two on its way down to earth. Instead we demand that we sail out into the open waters of those notches. We are in fact, (in a sort of fat and lazy modern way), whalers.

Through the eyes of O-buoy cameras we know exactly what is going on in the notches, and how much ice is in those open waters. Satellites? Pah! Who needs stinking satellites, when you can bob those seas in a rowboat with a thermometer, seeing the situation from roughly a meter above the level of the sea?

One thing we have seen is that these notches open not because ice melts.  Rather it is because ice to the north moves north, as we move south or stand still. Obviously this will create open water.

On the Atlantic side we’ve seen the North Pole Camera, (which I nickname “Faboo”) head fifteen miles to the northwest the past two days, as the ice at O-buoy 9, south of there, does not move north. This has created lots of open water for O-buoy 9 to sail about in, reporting temperatures below freezing that cannot create open water.Obuoy 9 0819 webcam Obuoy 9 0819C webcam

Considering the ice on the Atlantic side has been shoved north, you might think the ice on the Pacific side would be shoved south, and this is exactly what we have seen happen to the solid ice O-buoy 10 rests upon. Because it is being shoved into the open waters of the “Slot” we are expecting it to break apart, but it hasn’t happened yet.  Instead we get pictures of a melt-water channel thawing and then refreezing with boring regularity.Obuoy 10 0819 webcam Obuoy 10 0819C webcam

O-buoy 11 is to the southeast, and bobbing around in The Notch. We have seen those waters are not as ice-free as some satellite maps suggest. One moment the water may appear ice-free, but that may be because our whaler does not have a kid up in a crow’s nest three stories tall, but rather a camera in a buoy three feet tall. The horizon is close. Still, three feet is a better sail than a flat iceberg a half foot tall, and our keel has less drag than an iceberg with 9/10th of its ship underwater. A big, flat piece of sea-ice with a sail only six inches high has a keel sticking down three feet, whereas our buoy might have a keel that sticks down that much, but has a bigger sail, sticking up three feet, and this allows us to sail hither and thither among the lumbering bergs, gathering data satellites can’t. Some satellite guidance, through modeled filters, call this water ice-free:Obuoy 11 0819 webcam Obuoy 11 0819B webcam Obuoy 11 0819C webcam

O-buoy 12 is a subject I approach with trepidation, as it has been clouting my preconceptions, either side of my head, all summer.

My preconceptions state that southern ice-free waters are warmed by sub-baked tundra air and Pacific intrusions, and that these warmed, southern waters move north to melt ice further north from beneath.  What we seem to be seeing is ice to the north refusing to wait, and instead coming south to be melted. .This cools the southern waters even before they can start north.

To the north of there is “The Slot.” As far as I can tell The Slot is open water not sheltered by a lid of ice and warmed by waters from the south, but rather is water chilled by unseasonable cold from above.  Rather than warmer this water is colder.

With southern waters cooled even before they can start north, and the “Slots” waters also cooled, the sea-ice to the north will see less melt from below. Or so I guess. However O-buoy 12 has embarrassed me so many times that I tend to just watch his views, waiting for my next comeuppance.

Obuoy 12 0819 webcam Obuoy 12 0819C webcam The above view is from waters that are “ice free” according to some maps. Temperatures have dipped below the freezing point of salt water. Winds are around 10 mph.

Despite the fact this is shattering my preconceptions and making my predictions look foolish, I find it worthy of wonder. Something new is being taught. A door to understanding is opening. Forty years ago I’d look at such unexpected stuff and exclaim, “Far out!” Now I tend to grouch, “Oh crap,” because it means I have to go back to the old drawing board.Whaler 5 Peter Arno drawing board cartoon, New Yorker 1941-8x6

Hopefully this post will involve a new drawing board and new ideas, (which might not be so new, and which old whaling ships might have known about, but which wasn’t taught to me, because whaling was politically incorrect, when I went to school).

One reason for “The Notch”, on both the Atlantic and Pacific side, may be a discordance between the Polar and Ferral Cells, but blabbing about that can wait until tomorrow.

DMI2 0819B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0819B temp_latest.big

THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

DMI2 0820 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0820 temp_latest.big

Likely I am over-simplifying as usual, but I am seeing “Hichuk” on the Pacific side as the center of the Polar Cell, and “Hiska” over Scandinavia and the blocked low south of Iceland as Ferrel cell systems. “Beaucat” has some strong winds north of it over Laptev Sea, as “Chuck” is weak and drifts towards Svalbard. With “Chuck” now a north Atlantic low, and a high  building over Greenland, we are getting back to a more normal situation in Fram Strait,  with north winds, and perhaps Faboo will start  behaving itself and head south like it is suppose to.

The unofficial reports that gave us a shocking -4.19° C  at Faboo last night have become more reasonable, at -0.39° C, but I must admit Lake Faboo does look frozen this morning. We went from freeze to slush-season to refreeze so fast I’m suffering a sort of whiplash.NP3 1 0820 2015cam1_1

To the south the whiplash had O-buoy 9 tilted, with temperatures below freezing, followed by light winds and the first sunshine we’ve seen in a while. Perhaps we’ve drifted farther south than I thought, because it looks like we’ve run aground on a beach where the coral has been tragically bleached by Global Warming.Obuoy 9 0820 webcamObuoy 9 0820B webcam

O-buoy 10 had winds drop to near calm and overnight temperatures dip near -2°.Obuoy 10 0820 webcam

O-buoy 11 sees light winds of 5 mph and overnight chill around -1°. If anyone is paying the slightest bit of attention to albedo any more, the bergs look like they have been repainted white by recent snow.Obuoy 11 0820 webcam

O-buoy 12 sees wide open waters and clear sailing through “The Slot”, with winds around 10 mph. The surprise to me is that the air temperature is -3°. Those waters are being chilled.Obuoy 12 0820 webcam

Now is a time of mourning at the Pole. Polar bears wear black, and the white flag is flown at half mast, (which confuses enemies, who can’t figure out if the Pole is surrendering or not.)  The mourning is because the average temperatures dip below freezing. Slush season is officially over.DMI2 0820 meanT_2015The sharp drop in the extent graph may be due to the last hurrah of slush-season (and also ice melting in Hudson Bay), but we may soon see a bit of an uptick as melt-water pools freeze over, and stop being seen as open water.DMI2 0820 icecover_current_new

WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE  —Beaufort O-buoys showing freeze-up—

O-buoy 10 has seen temperatures drop to -3° and the melt-water channel has frozen.Obuoy 10 0820B webcam Obuoy 10 0820C webcamO-buoy 11 is seeing -2° and the open water is starting to have the stage-one “oily look” of a freeze.Obuoy 11 0820B webcam Obuoy 11 0820C webcamO-buoy 12 ran into some traffic after a spell sailing free, and temperatures continue to drop, down to -4°. Here a 10 mph breeze is making sure the cold air stirs in with the water, which looks a bit slushy at the edges.Obuoy 12 0820B webcamObuoy 12 0820C webcam

FABOO CRASHES INTO COLD AIR AND CHANGES COURSE

After plowing northwest as far north as 86.315°N Faboo’s course backed to southwest, end ing the 24-hiur-period at 86.304°N, 12.088°W, which is 5.3 miles nearly due west of where we began, and not the right way to be heading if we want to get to Fram Strait. The course correction was accompanied be a wind shift from southeast to northeast, and then by a dramatic freeze at the very end of the time period. The high was +0.5°C, and temperatures only gradually fell to +0.2°C at 1500Z, and then to -0.5°C at 1800Z and -2.4°C at 2100Z. (We may have fallen further, but that must wait until tomorrow’s official report).

The dramatic nature of the freeze is shown by the fact Lake Faboo has some dusty snow blown over its left side. As soon as melt-water pools turn white satellites have an easier time understanding they are not open water.NP3 1 0820B 2015cam1_1THURSDAY AFTERNOON DMI MAPS

DMI2 0820B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0820B temp_latest.big

FRIDAY MORNING MAPS  —Glitches—

DMI2 0821 mslp_latest.big

There is no DMI temperature map this morning. I’ll stick it in  if it becomes available later. But I want it now. I want to know how much warm air is invading the Pole from central Siberia., and up the west side of the warm high pressure, Hisca, over Europe.

Also there are no  O-buoy pictures this morning. Sometimes too many people want to download data from  the Pole, and the satellite only has a limited capacity to transmit data,  the O-buoy people have to wait in line. However I want pictures now. I want to see, with my lying eyes, if the refreeze is continuing in Beaufort Sea.

Even Faboo is not giving us a very clear idea of what is going on, except that it is frosty. Unofficial reports have us at -0.58° C.NP3 1 0821B 2015cam1_1

I refuse to be denied. I go to the Weatherbell Site, and look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s amazing maps. I chose the Canadian “JEM” model’s polar views of 2 meter temperatures, and get a surprise. (Because I’m American, I look at temperatures in Fahrenheit. Below freezing is pink.)  This map is the initial 0000z map, and the warmth in  Europe is muted because it is night. (Click  these maps to clarify and enlarge.)SKA 1 cmc_t2m_arctic_1To accent the heat in Europe I click ahead to the noontime forecast.SKA2 cmc_t2m_arctic_3What catches my attention is not the warmth in Europe, but the cold pouring south into Russia. Also it is freezing in Siberia. In August?  What the heck?

As a general assumption I figure the tundra is  sun-baked and warm, under long days and clouds of mosquitoes (which is why the polar bears stay out on the ice if they can.) When isobars suggest winds from the tundra out onto the Arctic Sea, I figure those winds are mild, at least until the nights lengthen in September. But once again I need to adjust my assumptions, for it looks like Siberia is not the mild source-region I took for granted it must be in August. The polar lows I call “Beaucat” and “Chuck” are not sucking warmth north, on their east sides.  The Siberian coast is colder than I suspected.

OK then, what about the heat over Europe? is that going to head towards the Pole? I look at the UK Met Maps.

INITIAL 0100Z FRIDAY UK Met 0821A 26854736 FORECAST 0100Z SATURDAYUK Met 0821B 26857227  FORECAST 0100Z SUNDAY  UK Met 0821C 26858646FORECAST 0100Z MONDAYUK Met 0821D 26858658

Even though Hiska hangs tough as a blocking high over Europe, and the gale over Iceland is stalled and can only kick weak low pressure towards The English Channel, at the top of the map there seems to be an arctic wall keeping the warmth at bay. (It does look like a nice weekend for a lot of Europe, though you can see the cold front come down over Russia to the east.)

My morning conclusion? The Arctic Sea is staying cold.

FRIDAY NIGHT UPDATE  —Faboo straightens Up His Act—

Yesterday Faboo continued south, and quit the business of drifting west at 12.180°W at 0900Z, and henceforth behaved himself, heading south-southeast for Fram Strait like a good camera. The 24-hour period concluded with Faboo at 86.210°N, 12.018°W which is 6.49 miles nearly due south of where we began. (There was one little waver of willpower at the end. Faboo actually made it east to 12.003° W at 1800Z, and then backslid west at the end. However I think it best we overlook that transgression. We do not wish to discourage poor Faboo, who has obvious issues in terms of direction.)

Faboo went through  a stressful day yesterday, with temperatures plunging to -4.4°C at 0300Z . (I thought those low readings must be a glitch when they appeared on the unofficial Mass Balance Buoy report.) ( After all, Buoy 2015E: is currently reporting it is -43.59°C down at 77.33° N, 11.09° W in Fram Strait.) (Call me a “denier” if you will, but I doubt that data.) Faboo’s pictures of Lake Faboo flash-freezing did make the low reading seem plausible, but I had to wait to see the official data to be sure.

The flash freeze only lasted around nine hours, and by 1500Z Faboo had made it back up to 0.0°C for the day’s high, and had only slipped to -0.2°C at 2100Z. So here too we see Faboo is shaping up his act and behaving himself. Today’s pictures even show Lake Faboo thawing slightly and melting the fresh snow on its surface to slush, as a snow-bow circles the horizon.NP3 1 0821B 2015cam1_2NP3 1 0821C 2015cam1_1

The pictures are pretty, and Faboo’s efforts at reform are praiseworthy, so I am surely going to seem like a cad when I look back at his aberrant behavior. However I have a taken a certain amount of abuse for saying flash-freezes are a part of arctic weather even in the height of summer. Therefore this blatant example redeems my reputation. (You see, I want to earn redemption as badly as Faboo does.)

In a nutshell, I have been informed that when air descends at the Pole it must be warmer, like Chinook breezes downwind of a mountain range. I have asserted that there must be an exception to that rule, for (and it happened here today) when a summer thundershower passes near on a sweltering summer day, a down-burst brings refreshingly cool breezes. In the arctic, where temperatures are so close to freezing to begin with, the down-burst is not refreshingly cool but rather a flash freeze.

Some Alarmists object most strenuously to my assertion of what seems to me to be a farmer’s common sense. In the most elaborate and lengthy replies they explain the science of the top of the troposphere and other stuff well beyond my pay-grade. As a bumpkin, I just look at them askance. What do they take me for? I know what I know, see what I see, and no amount of algebra is going to persuade me that the downdraft from a passing thundershower is hot.

Rather than continuing to questioning myself, I have started to question them. What worries them so much about flash-freezing, up at the Pole?  To me it seems a fairly obvious fact. Abruptly Faboo saw temperatures of -4.4°C. What’s the big deal?

O-BUOY CAMERAS BACK ON LINE  –An end to paranoia–

The flash freezes that I mentioned above, while relatively rare on the Atlantic side of the Pole (as far as I could see) were astonishingly common this past summer on the Pacific side, even to the point where you could call them the rule rather than the exception. Even in July, when the slush season is suppose to be at its height, temperatures were often below freezing.

Obviously this would fascinate me, especially as smarter people had told me flash freezes could not happen. I happen to believe in what I can see, more than I believe in smarter people, because smarter people are not God. God is Truth, which is something better scientists respect, better poets respect, better engineers respect, and even better Atheists respect (because better Atheists believe in Truth even if they don’t believe in God.)

American coins state, “In God We Trust,” because initially America was founded on Truth. This Truth respected the sanctity of the eyesight of even a bumpkin farmer like myself, for I was given the same one vote of the richest man, and the same one vote as the smartest genius.

Unfortunately America has fallen. It is governed by people who do not trust Truth, because Truth can make us look incorrect. When they say they will reduce unemployment, and unemployment rises, rather than trusting the Truth, they simply change the way the data is gathered, so it looks like unemployment isn’t rising.

In the same manner, when they say the Globe is warming, and it isn’t, they just change the way the data is gathered, so it looks like the world is warming. This falsification of temperature data has been done so blatantly and so crudely that I think the rest of the world is starting to catch on. The United States is not what it used to be. Rather than the rescuers of other nations, we might be in need of rescue.

In the end, the nation that saves the world will be the one that is most honest and most truthful, not the one that is most sly and deceitful. In terms of a free press, I’m ashamed to say the American Press is the latter and not the former. Americans only read their papers to learn what the Bogus News is. For the Truth they turn to the internet.

As an American, brought up to love the Truth, I am utterly appalled by my government’s dishonesty. I will do all in my tiny power to remove big-shots from office. However the United States may have past its prime, and it may be up to another nation to take the baton as we fall.  Once we were “the Last Hope Of Humanity,” but maybe that honor will pass on to India. They certainly have a freer press, a greater population, and may well deserve the honor of being called “The World’s Greatest Democracy”.

As an American, it really aggravates me to watch America lose the status of being the “good guys”. But what can a bumpkin do? All I can do is speak the Truth as loud and as long as I can. All it has ever done is bring me trouble, in terms of political power and wealth, but it makes me free, and that is better than power and wealth. (Even if they lock you up, you are still free, as Paul and Peter proclaimed from Roman jails.)

What does this have to do with sea-ice? Well, a government so fallen that it would falsify unemployment figures, and temperature figures, might also be tempted to falsify sea-ice data, or at least shut down cameras that refuse to verify that water the government states is ice-free holds no ice.  Or so stated my paranoia.

However the wonderful thing about the O-buoy cameras is that, even if they are denied access to satellites, they can store their information and just wait. Later, when the satellites become available, all the evidence can be down-loaded.

For a while Truth may be hidden, like the part if an iceberg under water. But it doesn’t cease to exist just because you can’t see it. (And it can sink a Titanic, if you ignore it.)

My favorite picture, now available, is from O-buoy 12, and shows no ice in sight.Obuoy 12 0821 webcamI like this picture because it verifies a forecast I made last spring. (I do not need to confess a large mass of ice just retreated into the distance, or mention that ice does not need to be far away to be “over the horizon.”)  However what continues to blow me away is that these open waters occur despite the air being in a steady state of “flash-freeze”, and below the freezing point of salt water.  (IE This is not a picture of a “warming” Arctic Sea.)Obuoy 12 0821 temperature-1weekO-buoy 11 was viewing similar “ice free” waters not long ago, and now look at it.Obuoy 11 0821 webcamObuoy 11 0821 temperature-1weekO-buoy 10 has been drifting south into *ice-free” waters, but doesn’t even have the decency to crack apart.Obuoy 10 0821 webcam Obuoy 10 0821 temperature-1week

Even O-buoy 9 over on the Atlantic side is seeing a flash freeze.Obuoy 9 0921 webcamObuoy 9 0821 temperature-1week

What you need to do is match these buoys with the map that shows areas as ice-free, however after a long and hard and hot week living as a bumpkin, I’d rather look for evidence Truth is beauty. Such as O-buoy 9 at midnight, yesterday.Obuoy 9 0820Z webcam

SATURDAY MORNING UPDATE

The first thing I wanted to check this morning was O-buoy 12, to see if it still had clear sailing. It did, which means I lost another nickle, because I bet it would run into ice by morning. (There may be some bergs in the mist on the distant horizon, but they don’t count.) I never bet more than a nickle on sea-ice, because it is so unpredictable, but this buoy is costing me a lot of nickles. They add up, y’know.Obuoy 12 0822 webcamThe second thing I checked was the thermometer attached to this buoy, to see if the open water had warmed the air at all. It hadn’t, which costs me another nickle. (Click graph to clarify, of not enlarge.)Obuoy 12 0822 temperature-1week

I am amazed the air is so cold so close to water that can’t be colder than -1.7°C or so. I’ve started to wonder if this thermometer might read low. At the very least it would provide me with a handy excuse for losing so many nickles. The only problem is that Buoy 2014G: is coming in at  -2.13° C, and it can’t have drifted too many miles away. (Formerly it was co-located with O-buoy 12.) Perhaps I’d better check the maps.

DMI2 0822 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0822 temp_latest.big

“Hichuk” is now a textbook polar cell over the Pole with lows rotating around it. I am going to grotesquely simplify, and call the low over the Kara Sea (and pouring chilly air over Moscow) “Chuck”,  though another part of Chuck is a very weak low north of the Canadian Archipelago, and still more of Chuck went down to Hudson Bay to join that fracas (I’ll call that  low “Hud”.)  The stalled storm over Iceland will be “Dawdle”, and the one over east Siberia will  retain the name “Beaucat”, as it starts its second lap of the Pole.

Hichuk seems to be swinging the cold around from the Pacific to the Atlantic. Faboo is unofficially reporting another flash freeze, as Buoy 2015D: has gone from reporting +0.32°C to -3.52°C, as the midnight sun creeps ever closer to becoming a midnight sunset.NP3 1 0822 2015cam1_2 NP3 1 0822B 2015cam1_1

The cold has made it down to the northern mouth of Fram Strait, as O-buoy 9 reports temperatures down around -4°.Obuoy 9 0822 webcam

I am curious to see if the cold swinging to the Atlantic allows Beaufort Sea to warm. O-buoy 10 has mellowed only slightly, up to around -0.77°C according to a co-located Mass Balance Buoy. It’s light winds are likely south, for it has stopped drifting south and nudged north a bit. Obuoy 10 0822 webcamO-buoy 11 has seen temperatures flirt with freezing, but temperatures have sagged back to -1° as winds became nearly calm.Obuoy 11 0822 webcam

O-buoy 12 is still showing the same picture, but I’ll bet you a nickle it shows sea-ice by noon.

NOONTIME  —I Lose—(Unless you count that upper left chip)Obuoy 12 0822B webcam

BLACK HOLE THREATENS O-BUOY 9Obuoy 9 0822C webcam 

SUNSET (AND SUNRISE)  AT 74.4° LATITUDEObuoy 11 0822B webcam

SATURDAY AFTERNOON DMI MAPS

DMI2 0822B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0822B temp_latest.big

SUNDAY MORNING UPDATE

DMI2 0823 mslp_latest.big DMI2 0823 temp_latest.big

The pattern looks nice and zonal, but Hichuk may be destabilizing like a wobbling top, as it is pulling mildness in from The Canadian side, and Jack has roaring, gale force winds along the Siberian coast. This is backing the waters towards the Atlantic, and also snitching some of the cold air from the Pole and exporting it down over Moscow.

This is worth visiting the Weatherbell site, to look at Dr. Ryan Maue’s cool maps of Asia. However danger is involved. Do not, I repeat, do not look at the cool typhoons down in the lower right. Such distractions can take you off onto sidetracks, and you may not get back to sea-ice for hours. (Click maps to enlarge, and click again to enlarge further.) (They show the warm afternoon in western Europe, but Russia getting north winds.)

DMI2 0823 cmc_t2m_asia_3 DMI2 0823 cmc_mslp_uv10m_asia_3

SOME LAZY SUNDAY AFTERNOON O-BUOY REPORTS

O-buoy 9 has been through a fairly wild spell of weather, with temperatures dropping to -5°C and swinging back up to freezing and also a considerable lurch back to the west even as Faboo curved east, which you would think would condense the sea-ice between. At one point the camera was leaning backwards and showing mostly sky, so I imagine the buoy is taking a beating, though winds only peaked briefly up around 20 mph and now have settled back to the 5-10 mph range.

Obuoy 9 0823 temperature-1week Obuoy 9 0823 longitude-1weekObuoy 9 0822D webcamObuoy 9 0823 webcamObuoy 9 0823B webcamO-buoy 10 has had a more sedate time, starting to drift back north in light winds, with temperatures persistently between zero and -3° C. Obuoy 10 0823B webcamO-buoy 11 has stopped reporting, though we did get a good picture of arctic twilight right after a blast of -4°C air came through this morning.  It should be noted that the conditions that appear in these pictures do not warm the exposed seawater much. This ice appears stationary at the moment.Obuoy 11 0823 webcamObuoy 11 0823B webcam

O-buoy 12 is happily sailing the open waters of The Slot with only an occasional berg passing in the distance. Air temperatures have risen to the approximate temperature of recently thawed seawater, or -1.5°C. The breezes are fairly gentle, at 5-10 mph, but the buoy has carelessly turned from southwest to northwest, which is not a very wise move if it wants to avoid ice to the north.Obuoy 12 0823B webcam

FABOO’S WEEKEND HIGH-JINKS

I know I said Faboo was shaping up. I know I must seem like one of those bosses who writes a glowing recommendation because it is the most recent employer who pays a percentage of a bum’s unemployment. However I had no idea Faboo would go a-rambling this weekend. And it really wasn’t all that bad, compared to other rambles. Perhaps we should be patient with the poor thing.

On Friday he did wobble a bit, in terms of heading east. He started at 12.018°W, proceeded east to 11.892°W, briefly backslid to 11.929°W, then proceeded on to 11.831°W, before backsliding more brazenly to 11.890°W. But what the heck. It was Friday night, and there are always a lot of bad influences around on Friday nights, and Faboo did end the day further east than he started. And he did much better in terms of heading south, making steady progress until the final report, when he slid back from 86.178°N to 86.179°N, and heck, what is .001° between friends? The important thing is that Faboo progressed 2.22 miles in the right direction, towards Fram Strait.

The temperatures achieved a high of 0.0°C at 0600Z and then some chillier air began wafting in even though the winds were dropping to mere breaths of 2 mph. Faboo could feel another flash freeze coming in, but the thermometer began to display the ABUHI effect as the wind dropped. (That stands for “Arctic Buoy Urban Heat Island.) This became very apparent when winds dropped to a complete calm at 1500Z and temperatures abruptly spiked to +2.4°C. This caused poor Faboo to look wildly about for signs of flash thawing, but all he could see was wan sunshine and a snow-bow on the horizon. Then, as soon as winds rose to 2 mph temperatures dropped to -0.5°C at 1800Z, and as winds puffed up to 5 mph temperatures plunged to -2.3°C as the sun swung down to whatever the arctic opposite of its zenith is (alphanith?)  You can see that this might shove Faboo off the wagon, for, “if you need a reason you can find one,” is a good old buoy motto.

On Saturday Faboo stopped heading the wrong way at midnight, because good old buoys know nothing good happens after midnight, but by breakfast he had only made it down to 86.174°N, when someone suggested a hair-of-the-dog, and it was all wrong way from there, with Faboo up at 86.180°N at the final report. And in terms of heading east he was definately staggering, first west to 11.892°W, then east to 11.858°W, then west to 11.908°W, then east to 11.842°W, and finally west to 11.901°W. All in all it wasn’t such a terrible backslide, only .001° of latitude and .009° of longitude, which works out to 0.09 miles the wrong way. Give the poor old buoy a break.

Temperatures got down to -3.0° at midnight yesterday, and only got up to a high of -0.8°C at the final report. Lake Faboo looks flash frozen, with a bit of drifted snow by the near banks.NP3 1 0823 2015cam1_3However once the sun comes out, and is up at its zenith, it still has the power to melt at the very edge of Lake Faboo, where it hits the banks at a perpendicular angle, even with temperatures still below freezing.NP3 1 0823B 2015cam1_1

This view is more typical of September than August.

SUNDAY EVENING MAPS

DMI2 0823B mslp_latest.big DMI2 0823B temp_latest.big

MONDAY MORNING MAPS

DMI2 0824 mslp_latest.bigDMI2 0824 temp_latest.big

O-BUOY 12 RUNS OUT OF SAILING ROOM

Obuoy 12 0824 webcamIt is a typical Monday morning for O-buoy 12. After a weekend of sailing free, you face a mound of stuff. Don’t you just hate Mondays?

Winds have dropped to calm, and temperatures to -2°C, in the evening twilight over at 160° longitude.

Over at 140° longitude O-buoy 11 looks like it might aim at some clear sailing in the distance, if it can only jostle its way through the ice in the foreground. Winds atr 7 mph and temperatures are a bitter -3°C.Obuoy 11 0824 webcamO-buoys 9 and 10 have obscured lenses, which is also typical of Monday mornings.

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE

Faboo continued his bohemian antics yesterday, moving the wrong way north-northwest  1.49 miles. He did stop the northward movement at noon up at 86.199°N, as the westward drift persisted, and finished the period at 86.195°N,12.136°W.

This failure to move to Fram Strait is starting to get slightly interesting. Every North Pole Camera I have ever watched gets sucked south, sooner or later, by the Autumnal Gales, and once out of the arctic you can hope to see an extended slush season. However Faboo is so far north and west there is a slight chance it will escape the huge suction down the the coast of Greenland, and be the first North Pole Camera ever to see a second sunrise in the arctic.

We are so far north that thaw is likely toi become rare, as the average temperature this far north starts to crash far below freezing. If we were down in Fram Strait it would be quite a different matter.

Yesterday we saw a high at 0600Z in wan sunshine of -0.4°C, but then it grew gloomy and we experienced our third flash freeze in a row, with a low at 1800Z of -4.1°C. The sun popped out and we ended the period at -1.2°C, but the unoffical Mass Balance reports suggest we couldn’t break freezing. And one must admit the midnight sun is getting very low at midnight.NP3 1 0824 2015cam1_1

The sun is so low that even an above-normal reading can be below freezing.DMI2 0824B meanT_2015

Obviously we cannot hope for melting from above any more, unless the currently zonal pattern becomes abruptly meridianal and allows a huge surge of warm air north. No thawing can come from the sky, yet the “extent” of the ice keeps dropping.DMI2 0824B icecover_current_newIcecover Aug 24 N_stddev_timeseries

How is this possible. It is only possible because ice melts from below. After all, ice must be sitting on warmer water, for it is on water that isn’t frozen. One might even argue the water shouldn’t have frozen in the first place. How can it freeze when it is water sitting in warmer water? Interesting topic, but I don’t want to go there tonight.

The point I wish to make tonight is that the only thing separating the entirety of all the sea-ice from complete melt-down is something called a “phase change.”

By early August all the ice has been warmed to the freezing point from top to bottom, and the water below is warmer and the air above is warmer. Why doesn’t the ice dissolve?

It is because, to turn solid to liquid, you must put it on a stove and add heat. Water can exist at the same temperature as ice, but water holds that added heat from the stove, called “latent heat”.

In like manner, to turn water to ice, you must remove that “latent heat”. It is hard to imagine, but as ice freezes hear is released. When an entire Arctic Ocean freezes, enormous amounts of heat are released,

I’m not sure I can describe how fun it is to think about this stuff. The top of the ice is freezing, and releasing heat, as the bottom of the ice is melting, and sucking up heat.

Unfortunately some over-simplify the complex, and get maps like this, which thrill Alarmists by exaggerating “The Slot.”Ice Extent Aug 24 cryo_latest_small

However I know “The Slot” is not as ice-free as it appears because I’ve sailed those waters via O-buoys, and also the above map shows no ice in Hudson Bay, but the Canadian Ice Service says ice is still there.Hudson Bay Aug 24 CMMBCTCA

Whatever the reasoning was, saying there is no ice where it is was likely plugged into models, and resulted in stupid predictions. I’ll put two side by side below. The first thrilled Skeptics by saying the “extent” would be the highest in years, and the second thrilled Alarmists by saying “extent” would set a record for lowness. The first is from June, and the second is from August.

Sea Ice anomaly forecast June 16 sieMonIce Anomaly Aug 24 sieMon

How stupid both Alarmists and Skeptics are to give credence to such a totally malfunctioning model!  Would anyone give credence to a calculator that only gave you the right answer half of the time?

I prefer my lying eyes, and O-buoys, but as soon as they showed ice in an ice-free zone this morning, they were disallowed access to the satellite that transmits data. I felt paranoid, and figured they wouldn’t be allowed to transmit a picture until the ice was gone. And I was right, but what a mind-boggling picture got shown!

In petty terms, involving Skeptic and Alarmist bickering, this picture shows water can get glassy and reflect sunlight in an open ocean. Big deal. For in other terms this single shot is better than the best painters of surrealism, impressionism, and Realism:

Obuoy 12 0824B webcam

CONCLUSION 

If the above seems a little bad tempered, it is because I deleted had a post I’d worked hours upon, as my computer was freezing up, and for some reason the Auto-save didn’t bother to save it. I still had the pictures, so I just re-did the post in about five minutes, doing a lot of muttering to myself.  It was a bad conclusion to a long day.

Today the computer problems continue, so I suppose I might as well call this post concluded.  I figure the beauty in that final picture is a better conclusion than I could write.

LOCAL VIEW —July Jackets—

20150716 satsfc

The map shows yesterday’s hot and humid air driven out to sea, and the front rammed clear down to Georgia, yet it managed to pass under us. We didn’t even get a sprinkle. I was a bit amazed, watching it happen. You could see the cool air clash with the hot, and brew up a squall line that NOAA noted for its longevity, and Joseph D’Aleo posted on his superb blog at the Weatherbell site. (The picture overlays many separate radar shots of the same squall line.)

Squall Line 20150713_summary1 If you follow the direction the red arrow points you can see the energy passed well south of New Hampshire. We just had a muggy morning gradually dry out, without a sprinkle of rain. I headed off to a barbecue in the early evening, and everyone was wearing shorts and short-sleeved shirts, as the shadows from the trees at the end of the lawn gradually extended over and the warming sun was lost. Then someone remarked, “Sheesh! is it ever cold!”

I looked around, and noticed everyone was hugging themselves. It was like it hadn’t penetrated anyone’s consciousness that a sunny July evening could possibly be cold. But it was downright uncomfortable, and as soon as people woke to the fact many headed off to cars and came back wearing summer jackets. I’d come in my wife’s car, and had no jacket, so I got so close to the grill I was practically in among the steaks. As soon as the meat was done we moved indoors.

The good thing about such cold shots in the north winds is that often they don’t last long. I’ve seen winter days when the temperatures fall all morning and you expect the cold to become extreme with the advent of evening, but instead the cold wave relents, and temperatures don’t drop after dark, and can even rise a degree or two. However those are winter events. In July you only expect to don a jacket when east winds bring fog and drizzle inland from the cold Gulf of Maine. You don’t expect it when it is sunny and the wind is north. I can only assume this shot from the north contained a packet of air from Hudson Bay, which still has a surprising amount of ice on it, for the middle of July.

Hudson Bay Ice extent July 16 CMMBCTCA By this morning that shot of cold was long gone. Rather than Hudson Bay the wind was from the Canadian Prairie, baking under long summer days and barely cooled by short nights where the twilight never completely fades. However the shot of cold activated some instinct in me, and I got out of bed thinking I should get going, in terms of firewood.

Now is the time to lay down the less desirable trees, and to let them lie as the leaves suck the sap from the wood before withering. Then cut them up. Then split them. Then stack the wood to dry in the summer sun, so they don’t hiss in the stove, wasting heat boiling off sap, but burn clear and hot.

Dream on, old man. You are sixty-two years old, and it will take you a week to do what you once did in the morning.

Now I do stuff sort of as an exhibition, for the children at our Farm-childcare. “This is the way things were done a long, long time ago.” However it does not seem so long ago to me.

Not that I ever used a cross-cut saw. However there is a film of the center of this town after the 1938 hurricane, with trees down left and right, and not a chainsaw is in sight. All the local folk are out at either end of cross-cut saws. Some look like they are out of practice, but all know how to use such saws, how to always pull and never push. It is amazing how swiftly they cut through the logs.

I do remember when people built houses with hand tools, with saws and hammers and drills that had no batteries or cords or pneumatic air lines. It did take longer, but the men were stronger.

In the 1700’s the average worker burned off over 4000 calories a day. Few men work half as hard, now. Now we expect weekends off, but farmers never had weekends, for milk cows don’t stop making milk on Saturdays and Sundays, and chickens don’t stop eating.

The strange thing is that some think we are worse off. We work less and have more leisure, but they take their leisure and use it to gripe, often complaining they work too hard, or aren’t paid enough, or are hurt emotionally and should not have to work at all.

Idiots. I just wish I could still work as hard as I once did. God knows there was a glory in it, and someday I’ll write a book about it. But tonight I’ll just think about those men of the past, who worked twelve hour days, full of faith in a thing called “progress”, and believing we would rejoice to have the things they lacked. I’ll look back a half century, to when I was twelve and knew nothing of work, and didn’t like the prospect of work much at all,  until I saw old men loving it, and became curious about what could be so good about it.
Free wood is seldom free. The gnarled apple
Really required a pneumatic splitter
And I had but a maul, but youth will grapple
Ridiculous tasks: I was a hard hitter
And relished each victory, each split log
And the sheen of sweet sweat; the impossible
Challenge; the twisted, bumpy, Dryad-eyed frog
Of old apple attacked, wedges buried full,
But struck with a final karate scream
And torn open like a closed-case, long-shut book:
A hundred-fifty years of history
Lay exposed to the sun…Long time it took
For that scythe, hung in fork of young tree,
To be swallowed by growth, a tool forgotten
But a man now recalled, though flesh be rotten.