Thursday, September 08, 2011

3353 Flood?

Thursday, September 8, 2011

“Some people make your life better by walking into it,
other people will make your life better by walking out of it.”


I'm north, at the old house. I plan to head back south this evening, with a stop in Goshen, NY, in Orange County, only slightly out of the way, to attend a Mensa dinner. I haven't seen those people in six months. I keep trying to go to dinners and events, but the weather, health, and schedules haven't cooperated.

So I really thought I'd make it this evening.

But TV news reports flash flooding all over Ulster and Orange counties (west of the Throughway) , and the NYS Throughway southbound is CLOSED between exits 18 and 17. I'd be getting on at exit 19 and off at 16 to go to the dinner. The detour would be through local roads in Ulster county, which is not good, since there is a good chance of flooding, and a guarantee of being full of Throughway traffic.

I put out a call for information and route advice from locals on the Mensa Yahoo group, but have not had a response yet. I'm not sure what to do.


11:00 am - Just got a response to my group note for advice, from Roman (long-time readers, remember Roman?). He says the Throughway is now open except for the shoulders, and that 9W south to 84 is open and clear if I still want to detour, and that I can call 511 to get road condition info.

That's one good thing you can say about Roman. He always has good info about everything.

4:00 pm - Went to visit Piper and ran into The Angel, my CPA. He says I don't really want to go to Goshen. Even if the roads are open and the bridges are up, Goshen itself is flooded and they have no power, so the restaurant probably won't be open.

11:30 pm - I went anyway. I'd be headed south, which is where I want to eventually end up anyway, so I may as well try. All roads were open, there was no sign of flooding anywhere along the way, and Goshen was fine. I got to see several of the people I'd been missing, and it was a good evening.

You know, I think there's simply a lot of exaggeration in the reports of conditions. Kind of like when it's windy, and a roof blows off a building, and everybody yells "Tornado!", when it's really just strong wind. It's tiresome.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

3352 Statistics: "True" propositions, specious conclusions

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

“Homosexuality is found in 450+ species. Homophobia is found in only one. Which one seems unnatural now?”


Disturbing facts about bread:
  1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
  2. Fully half of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
  3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
  4. Every piece of bread you eat brings you nearer to death.
  5. Bread is associated with all the major diseases of the body. For example, nearly all sick people have eaten bread. The effects are obviously cumulative:
    • 99.9% of all people who die from cancer have eaten bread.
    • 100% of all soldiers have eaten bread.
    • 96.9% of all Communist sympathizers have eaten bread.
    • 99.7% of the people involved in air and auto accidents ate bread within 6 months preceding the accident.
    • 93.1% of juvenile delinquents came from homes where bread is served frequently.
  6. Evidence points to the long-term effects of bread eating: Of all people born before 1839 who later dined on bread, there has been a 100% mortality rate.
  7. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as a teaspoon of dough can be used to suffocate a lab rat. The average American eats more bread than that in one day.
  8. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.
  9. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and being fed only water begged for bread after as little as two days.
  10. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
  11. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
  12. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
  13. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit. That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
  14. Most bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling!

In light of these frightening statistics, we propose the following bread restrictions:
  • No sale of bread to minors.
  • A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete with celebrity TV spots, and bumper stickers.
  • A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
  • No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
  • The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.

Monday, September 05, 2011

3351 Mites

Monday, September 5, 2011

"Friendship is being there when someone's feeling low and not being afraid to kick them."
-- Randy K. Milholland --


I had three beautiful huge rose-pink impatiens pots on the porch. They were attacked and devastated by spider mites.

When it came time to put the porch plants in the garage to protect them from Irene, I dumped those pots down the bank in the back, so they wouldn't infect the other plants.

I wondered where they got the mites. Those things are tiny. They don't exactly walk around looking for good plants. Usually they arrive on a new plant, infected in the crowded environment of a nursery and will spread to any plant within a few inches of the infected plant. The impatiens were clean all summer. Where did the sudden infestation of spider mites come from?

I have replaced the impatiens with mums, better for the fall anyway. Today I was sitting on the porch, and saw a bee land on a geranium blossom, and a light bulb went off.

I'll bet the mites hitchhiked in on bees!


I mowed the lawn today, and when I mowed past the bank, I saw a splash of rose-pink a few feet down the slope.

The impatiens.

They actually look healthier now than they did on the porch.

I wished them happiness.