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: )



From a Romanian site here:

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 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.

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

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 for the information about early snows in eastern Europe,) (which now includes Bulgaria:  )


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:

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. /  /

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:

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.


Hurricane Joaquin 1002 HUIR

500 AM EDT FRI OCT 02 2015


LOCATION...23.3N 74.7W

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.


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

LOCATION...24.3N 74.3W

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.



LOCATION...28.0N 68.9W

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.



LOCATION...30.4N 67.1W

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)



LOCATION...32.2N 66.4W

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.  


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.


LOCATION...34.1N 65.2W


LOCATION...35.8N 64.0W



LOCATION...38.3N 59.6W

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


LOCATION...40.5N 49.4W



LOCATION...42.0N 37.0W

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.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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.)

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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


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.


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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.


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


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—

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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.

LOCAL VIEW —Making Hay—

Making Hay pa_neh_17 Nowadays when you say, “There is money in growing grass”, people immediately assume you are talking about growing marijuana, which seems sad to me, for in my experience marijuana rots character, while working in hay fields built character.

Now, in some neighborhoods, when the lawn grows too long in front of your house you can actually get a ticket, and a member of the town Parks and Recreation Department will show up and mow it and charge you more money. If you don’t have the time to cut it yourself you must hire a landscaper, which I once was, and I didn’t work for free. Growing grass is costly, for most people.

My grandfather was born in 1888, and at that time there were no cars. He was twenty years old before the first Model T rolled off the first assembly line in 1908.Modle T images Before automobiles became affordable, gasoline was not the important fuel. Hay was. And, because you could not grow hay in big cities, it had to be imported from the country. Back then “teamsters” actually handled a team of horses or oxen, carrying loads of 12,000 pounds in various types of freight wagons.Conestoga_Wagon_1883 The above wagon was a big “Conestoga”  wagon, but smaller versions were the typical “Covered” wagon of Wild West Movies. They were the U-haul Trucks of the time, and while the appearance of railways around 1860 reduced their importance, they were still common when my grandfather was a boy, and they were powered by hay.

Hay was important. Rather than Big Oil there was Big Hay, and rather than OPEC there was a local HPEC, and New Hampshire was a sort of Saudi Arabia. Profit was involved, and it is amazing the stones men will move for a profit. They will move stones to create hay fields, and move stones to create amazing stone bridges to transport the hay south to big cities. The physical labor involved is beyond the imagination of flabby modern men, and this includes the cutting of the hay, which was done by a long knife on a stick called a scythe. We call marathon runners “athletic”, but they only run for around three hours. When you look at the man swinging the scythe in the painting at the start of this post, you should understand he would keep working from the moment the dew was dry to sunset, which is often over twelve hours, in the summer.

I could write a book about this subject, and hopefully will, but for now I’ll just say that, back when I mowed lawns to feed a wife and five children, it used to exasperate me that I was cutting grass and not making use of it. One time I made up a song as I mowed, and a verse of it went:

I roll my eyes to God. What would the Good Lord say
To see me cutting grass, and never making hay?
Hay could feed some sheep that would feed and clothe the poor.
It makes me want to weep. What am I mowing for?

However I’m just a cantankerous anachronism. Where I can recall sweating under the hot sun, loading bales of hay into the back of a pick-up truck out on a farmer’s field, that sort of sweat is out of date. Now they create big rolls of hay that are moved by a sort of forklift attachment to a tractor, which shoves a pole into the center of the round bale, much like I once used a forklift to shove a pole into the center of huge rolls of carpet when I worked at a carpet warehouse.  There is no need for muscles, farmhands, or the work ethic.

Fine with me. I’m too old to impress the babes with big biceps, and I thought that sort of strutting was stupid even when I was young enough to impress the babes with my big biceps.  I wanted them to appreciate my mind, not my body, so I tended to strut my poetry, and sadly learned women are as bad as men are, when it comes to caring about the body before the mind.  Or, I should say, they seemed to care more for my biceps than my poetry.

However a lot of the poetry was about the Yankee work ethic, and how I learned, (against my will, I confess, especially when I was younger), that there is a beauty in toil, in effort, in striving through the final mile of a marathon. There is a harvest. You do “make hay” before you “hit the hay”. (Not that anyone uses those expressions, these days). You do “reap what you sow”.

However I am pragmatic enough to see no sensible person is going to use a scythe when a mower works better. Sometimes it is hard enough to get the lawn mowed even using a mower, especially when your mower is 25 years old, like mine is, and breaks down a lot. I was having a hard enough time keeping the playground and front yard of our Farm-childcare mowed, and the back field accidentally turned into a hay field of lush clover, timothy and crown fetch, knee deep.

I didn’t mow it to make hay. I mowed it because if you don’t mow that field little trees invade with shocking speed, as do wild roses that smell nice in June but stab little children the rest of the year. Also a member of the staff has a phobia about ticks, and dislikes long grass. Also a little boy is a baseball fanatic, and it is hard to play ball in long grass. Lastly, if there is ever a national emegancy, that field may need to revert to a corn field, and it is much easier to plow a lawn than a young forest. So I mowed it, but hay was not a thing I was thinking about.

However I mowed it on a perfect day for haying, just after a front had passed with thunder muttering in the hills, and then the air became dry and Canadian. Nor was it the Canadian trajectory from the ice-choked waters of Hudson Bay. It was from the sun baked prairies. If there was any moisture in the air, it was squeezed out coming over the Adirondack and Green Mountains. Was it dry?  Well, you could spit, and it wouldn’t hit the ground.

I couldn’t help but notice that all the Clover, Timothy and Vetch I’d cut was being parched into just about the most superb hay you could ever want. It has all the incidental stuff goats like, as well, (the trailing vines of bramble and occasional shoots of goldenrod). But I had so many other things to do that I couldn’t stop to make hay. Yet I kept walking through that field, over and over, and I couldn’t help see that superb hay, just laying there, green and crisp, like money in the bank, even though grass isn’t worth it any more.

Finally I just couldn’t stand it. I had to make hay. I don’t really understand my reasoning; maybe I’m some form of hay-addict; but I had to figure out some way to make haying practical even when it isn’t. I decided I would teach the little kids at our Farm-childcare “The History Of Haying In New England”.

Usually this sort if idea goes over like a lead balloon. This time the kids had a blast, though I’m not sure they believed me when I told them vehicles once ran on hay and not on gasoline. Mostly they just liked raking up the hay, stuffing it into empty grain bags, lugging the grain bags to the back of the pick up truck, and,  (joy of joys), riding in the back of a pick up truck with the hay to the barn.

I didn’t over-do it. Modern children have short attention spans, (and lack the stoic ability to endure I have seen ingrained in Navajo girls only four years old, trudging uncomplaining across scorching desert), so at the first sign they were not finding it fun any more I ended the “lesson”. They surprised me by lasting over 90 minutes.

I think I did well, for later they were whining, “When can we go haying again?” This allowed me the chance to point out that you cannot hay in the rain, and must “make hay while the sun shines”.

It was amazing to me how, as soon as I decided that hay was worth gathering, I was hit by an anxiety it might rain and spoil my hay. My awareness of the weather instantly increased tenfold. I mean, who the heck cares if a hot and muggy wind shifts from southwest to south-southeast? Modern people don’t give a fig, but the old hay farmers broke into a sweat, because they started working twice as fast. As soon as the wind swings from southwest to southeast, Atlantic mist starts creeping north, and showers start to appear.

This was a big deal when your income could be considerably reduced by a mere sprinkle of rain. This made those old farmers super aware.

What does that mean about us, and what progress has done to us? Have we become super unaware?

Due to my efforts, a small bunch of kids are less unaware about the obscure subject of hay. We gathered perhaps $40.00 worth, before showers came north and spoiled the rest (though it will make good mulch for the garden). I mused how we had stopped after only 90 minutes whereas, in the old days, the entire family would have worked until they dropped to get every last blade of grass in. When I thought about it, I was sort of glad I didn’t have to work so hard. It isn’t all bad, being modern.

But that is no reason to become super unaware, or to forget the old ways, or the old expressions. What can replace, “Make hay while the sun shines”? Hmm. “Save your document before the Computer crashes”?  Perhaps that works, but to me it doesn’t have the same charm.

The south-southeast winds from south of Cape Cod are about to be replaced by Canadian air, perhaps from ice-choked Hudson Bay. That ought give us some thunder, and then cool breezes and dry air and perfect haying weather.

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This is a continuation of a story that began at:

Part 2 can be found at:

Part 3 can be found at:

Part 4 can be found at:

Part 5 can be found at:

Part 6 can be found at

Part 7 can be found at:

Part 8 can be found at

Part 9 can be found at

Part 10 can be found at

Part 11 can be found at

Part 12 can be found at

NOTE:  Considering I worked on this section during a time that bracketed Mother’s Day, it seems ironic that it involves a certain amount of disparagingly irreverent commentary about mothers and motherhood, by teen aged boys. I cringed at times, as I wrote, for my opinions of motherhood have changed since I was that young, and I now feel a need to make some excuses.

When Sigmund Freud studied the human psyche, he was basing his conclusions upon observations drawn from a society that thought it was at the pinnacle of sophistication, human achievement, and evolution, but actually was doomed. Vienna was the capital of an Austro-Hungarian Empire, which was about to go from being a World Power to vanishing from the map, and faced a future so bleak that the heir to the throne traveled to a ski resort with his girlfriend and, together with her, committed suicide.

Due to the bleakness of what he was observing, Freud’s conclusions were also bleak, and among his bleak conclusions is the general assumption we must have a hidden hatred of our mothers. In fact this goes against a very deep core-principle of the human heart, to some degree expressed by the fundamental commandment: “Thou shall honor thy mother and father.”  It is only in extraordinary circumstances, when a society has become so rancid it is about to self-destruct, that Freud’s conclusions hold true.

I hope I can be forgiven for drawing a parallel between Vienna on the eve of its Destruction, and the suburbs of Boston I describe in this fictional work.


The American “Nig” has returned after a year abroad at a strict school in Scotland, and is writing the South African “Kaff”, using a shorthand the two teenagers devised which allows them to write with the speed of their frenetic thoughts.

Nig has been dismayed by changes that have occurred in the USA while he was away, and at this point is telling Kaff he has decided to make a lot of money selling lyrics for hit songs, and to buy a plot of land he calls “The Party Woods.” He plans to form a commune made up of his boyhood friends, but needs to convince his friends the scheme is possible.

What Nig is attempting to do is to figure out how to “get the gang together”, but his friends have gone in different directions, and the unity which the gang once shone with seems lost. Nig is attempting to end this divorce by being an amazing psychiatrist who can solve all problems with a single session. He imagines he makes progress in the magical atmosphere of the “Party Woods”, but feels that out in the unenlightened world he faces opposition to the unity of a commune..

At this point in Nig’s description he has concluded a discussion with Ham and Franks, who are two brothers who have become ardent communists, and another discussion with his boyhood best-friend Durf, who has lost faith in society and practices a sort of self-centered epicureanism at a commune of his own in the city, an a third discussion out in the Party Woods with his depressed friend “Spook” and his brother “Zooks”,  who are two of the four Lasaumille brothers. They are returning from the woods to the inenlightened world, and in particular the unenlightened Lasaumille brother’s mother.

(The date is July 31, 1971.)


We went into the barn, which Spook’s Dad attached to the house with a roofed walkway with big picture windows along the sides, so he could go to the barn without getting wet or cold. In the barn is the children’s room, which is what Spook’s Mom made of his Dad’s den after she booted him out. I reckon she’s sorry she did it now, cos Spook loaded it with neat stereo equipment and now she always has to tell her boys to turn the music down, cos she can get blasted by it even up in the house. Also I guess the Padlock wants to turn it back into a den again, which may be one more reason she wants her boys to move out. However for the moment it’s still a really neat place, full of happy memories for me.

Spook has a cool collection of music, and I always feel better seeing him sit in there, cos music is good for him. He never seems happier than when he’s sharing some new album, or letting you hear a hit song before it’s a hit. I heard a lot of my favorite albums for the first time, in that barn.

However, even as Spook turned on the first song I heard his Mom yell like she was really angry. He quickly turned the music down, but she wasn’t yelling about that. She was yelling she was getting married in the morning and it was too late to have company, and she was asking who I was. When they said it was me, I could her footsteps coming clipping down the walkway from the house like she really meant business and was going to lay down the law. Spook seemed to cringe, and Zooks’ face took on a very, very patient look, as their Mom came bursting through the door with a real stern face, which then did a really funny double-take.

I think she expected me to be like I was, all pale and scrawny with long frizzy hair, and she wasn’t expecting me to be tan and weigh forty pounds more with short hair. Also my clothes were pretty clean, and not all that damp from the rain.

I stood up politely and walked to her to greet her using all the best manners Mother ever taught me, though I didn’t quite click my heals and kiss her hand when I shook it. I did try to ooze charm, and swab her with ooze like a bucket of slimy eels got dumped over her head.

The funny thing was, it worked. I don’t know, but it sure seems a woman over forty likes being flattered by an eighteen-year-old, once he stops looking like a speed freak. She was so impressed by the change in me she actually blushed, and I couldn’t help but smile, and that made oozing all the easier. I charmed her cotton picking socks right off, and she forgot all about laying down the law and not allowing company after dark in the summer.

We made polite conversation about the usual stuff, and I told the usual lies. I said I wanted to go to college and study journalism, when the truth is I want to write lyrics and skip college.

I noticed as I talked I was trying to make Spook look good, in a way I thought was pretty sly. Like, I said I wanted to get a job like Spook has, and get a car like Spook has, and save up for college like Spook’s doing, but rents were going to make it hard. Even renting just a bedroom in someone else’s house is up to $25.00 a week, so I want to rent a place and divide the rent up with friends like Spook to make things cheaper.

The whole time I’m saying this stuff I’m watching her face and calculating what is getting across. I figured she’d be wicked glad to hear Spook was even considering getting off his ass and moving out, but I didn’t actually say that. I said friends like Spook. So I didn’t actually lie, but I gave her a sort of false impression. In any case she decided maybe she didn’t want to interrupt our talk, and maybe it was OK if I visited after dark in the summer.

After she left Zooks was all chuckles, and said he was wicked impressed by how I wrapped her around my finger. I said it was amazing what a haircut could do. Spook got grumpy about his Mom only looking at superficial stuff, and started to go on about how haircuts shouldn’t matter. I sort of got fearful he was going to slide back into the dark, so I told him it wasn’t just the haircut. I put on forty pounds at Dunrobin, and got a lot healthier once I got away from speed, and health really does matter. Spook looked thoughtful, and said he’d been totally off drugs for two months last winter, and didn’t feel much better. In fact he thought he felt worse.

This got us back to talking about Audley Bine’s commune, cos Zooks said Spook only quit drugs cos Audley suddenly said drugs weren’t allowed any more because some new Baba said so. I said that was mighty odd, considering when I met Audley the summer before he twisted my arm to not quit, and instead to try the best hashish, in a beautiful inlayed pipe of turquoise and silver from Nepal, (or was it Kashmir?)

Spook said that was just like Audley, always convincing, always correct, and always in style. Zooks said styles must’ve really changed, cos Audley had totally flip-flopped. He was still trying to convince everyone to get high, but now it was to get high naturally, by doing that Kundalini Yoga stuff. A few kids always got suckered into giving it a try, cos Yoga is free, and back then it was still winter and kids couldn’t go lounge around on the town green, and Aufley’s commune was warm. Until the weather got warmer it was worth doing some dumb Yoga to sit about there, but the music at the commune sure did get old.

I asked why, and Spook said Audley played George Harrison’s album, “My Sweet Lord,” over and over and over again. It gave the place a sort of spiritual feel, but after hearing the songs a couple of hundred times he got sick of it. And when he tried to meditate he never got cosmic consciousness and instead saw a lot of unspiritual stuff in his imagination, like hot sluts, or gangsters with guns. Then Motey stopped coming, and all the work he did coming up with the rent hardly seemed worth it any more, and then other money problems made the commune get more and more uncomfortable. Audley even wanted to charge people just for visiting, at the end.

I said its always the same damn thing. It’s the money that wrecks everything. I told them about the coffee-can by Durf’s telephone in Boston, and how you couldn’t even make a phone call there without a downer spoiling the high. I said people shouldn’t be allowed to get high unless they promised to stick to the high stuff like generosity, and to stay clear of the low stuff like greed. I said that at my commune we’re going to get all the money crap clear right at the start, and have it done with, before we ever even smoke a joint. Otherwise things get worse and not better.

They seemed to like it that I was so definite and certain about the commune. Zooks was lounging on a sofa, really relaxed and comfortable as usual, but what I noticed most was that Spook didn’t look spooked. He didn’t exactly look relaxed, cos he was fussing with the dials to get the music’s balance and tone just right, but he was smiling, and I was real glad to see that.

Suddenly he sat bolt upright, a really fearful look on his face, and Zooks looked over towards the back of the barn as well. I hadn’t noticed anything, but Spook went rushing to the back window to look out. Then he turned around with a big smile of relief, and said, “It’s Zeck and Duke. They’ve already got it in.” Then he opened the window and called something down into the darkness, and it was only then that I heard Spook’s old Rambler’s engine running.

He shut the window and came back, and it looked like all the weight of the world had come off his shoulders. Duke and Zeck came up around the side and in through the door, wearing big smiles cos they had done a good deed for their little brother, and also cos the coil was cheaper than they’d expected. Lastly, it turned out the suit rental-fee had gone up, so they hadn’t rented suits for their Mom’s wedding, which meant the four had to have a sort of emergency powwow.

From what I could hear from across the room a sort of Stinedu was happening, because it turned out none of them had wanted to rent the damn tuxedos in the first place, but no one had dared say so. I’d thought it was odd myself, cos the Lasaumille’s are pretty sharp dressers, especially Duke, though of course everyone’s a sharp dresser, compared to me. But I guess they figured their sport coats were too sporty for a wedding, or something, and they should rent drab, black coats, until they saw how much the rent had gone up. Now suddenly purple corduroy didn’t seem so bad. Zeke said, in his mild, quiet voice, that all they had to figure out now was: Who was going to run the idea of corduroy suits by their mother? They all flashed big white smiles, and then Duke blustered that if their Mom didn’t like corduroy, she could pay the rentals for tuxedos. Then Zeck took out a wad of cash and got busy handing everyone their money back, and they were all real attentive. I noticed that when Zeck handed Spook a twenty he gave him a wink. Again Spook looked really relieved.

Again I was struck by how stupid and simple the problems were. Spook didn’t have wheels, and now he did. Spook had to snitch a twenty from his Mom, but now he could slip the twenty back in her purse. If money can’t buy happiness, how can chump change make the difference between being totally bummed out and high? It’s a joke, but most don’t get the joke. Maybe Beethoven did, when he wrote the thing Halsey was playing the other night called, “Rage Over A Lost Penny.” But most are all too serious, until the piddlely problem’s solved. It’s like a stupid penny makes the difference between joy and gloom.

I wanted to say what I was seeing, but, as I watched the four brothers talking and laughing together, it seemed pointless to ruin their joy over having solved problems by calling their problems piddlely. The stereo was playing that part of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young that goes, “We have all been here before,” and I was having that Deja Vu feeling really strongly. I felt wicked high, like I was standing up on a mountain and looking across the ages at the four brothers.

The best part was that the darkness seemed defeated. Spook looked totally different from how he’d looked earlier, when he seemed so high strung it was like the strings were all going to start breaking with loud twangs. Now he seemed like Mister Mellow.

It seemed a good time to go home, so I did. As I walked through the night, hearing the night breeze shake the last raindrops from the leaves, I had this strong feeling of well being come down on me, and seemed to see the road ahead really clearly.

I was only half-joking when I kidded to Zooks that English kids get brainwashed by Shakespeare. What you put in you head does matter. Here in America there‘s a place I call the Mad Ave, where these perverted poets are always trying to figure out how to write jingles that brainwash people into buying crap, and you can‘t watch a show on TV in America without all this inane drivel about how you should be ashamed to have a dirty collar, or an old car. But as I walked I could see how much better it would be if poets put the light into people’s heads, and if the stuff people watched was full of truth, peace, beauty, joy and love. And I felt a real certainty that‘s what my job is. That‘s what I’ve got to do.