31 October 2010

Undercover Operative: scene 6

With just a little duct tape, a Swiss Army knife, and a little scientific know-how, McGjervold can lick any problem no matter how mundane or ludicrous.
Giant scallions? He'll do it.
Killer tomatoes? Gjervold will slice and dice them into salsa with a an old tin can.
Heartburn? He'll make you an organic nutrient rich beverage to ease the pain.
Working for the famous Phoenix Foundation, McGjervold begins where MacGyver left off. He travels the globe to scuttle espionage and scotch environmental dangers in nonviolent ways often employing humor.
A first rate thinker and speed reader, Magnus McGjevold won't use bullets or even bludgeons. A 2X4, yes. Brill cream-- not on your life.

Undercover Operative: scene 5

Katy Perry does not fight crime, at least that's what I've been told by a publicist. Sure she can get censored by Sesame Street but stopping bad guys and gals, she don't light a finger.
Here she is just after he SNL appearance with the Great Zavs.
Katy is content to hang out, have a good time, and sing a few songs.

Undercover Operative: scene 4

If the Google Doodle can have a Scooby Doo reference so can my blog.
Snaggy actually works with indirectly. We used to be on the same team until I changed what I do.
Snaggy doesn't eat much these days like he did in his earlier crime fighting days. He does like comics and such. Not sure how much crime he is preventing as Scooby has been stuffed for some time. Scooby was really the brains behind the operation. Sure Velma might lend a hand but it was Scooby who got the business done. Shaggy, well, he just hangs out at the crime scene and that's all. Perhaps he should team up with Poison Ivy and Marylin.

Undercover Operative: scene 3

 Marylin and Poison work together but once a year and at that only after drinking a pint of light beer. They met in Hollywood one autumn night while waiting in the make-up department. They have teamed up to fight crime this year since deciding that crime was so yesterday. Their plan is to stop a bank robbery or a terrorist threat. So far they have only helped an old lady rake leaves in her yard. It was quite the sight. On Wednesdays they take karate lessons. 

28 October 2010

Undercover Operative: Scene 2

The Dutch Master is neither from the Netherlands nor a master of anything worthwhile except precision weaponry from said low lands. He actually gets his name from the brand of cigar he prefers- Dutch Masters. Plus he dons a particular hair style and mustache and hat reminiscent of the said Dutch Masters.
He plays coy as he smokes a cigar and fires weapons. He seldom is seen before noon. The Dutch Master's colleagues have  included Louie the Lowlife Lounge Lizard of Lombardy and Mel Gibson. His favorite haunt is the Speakeasy where he eats a loaf of bread a bowl of pasta every Wednesday night. Once he assisted in a massive bread heist in Philadelphia where he commandeered a loaded bread truck and drove it to Ocean City, NJ to feed the birds and a few transients for Hector De Nada De Puesto. Today the Dutch Master prefers removing old books from the public library and solo salsa dancing on Saturdays.

26 October 2010

Undercover Operative: Scene 1

Since its the disguising time of year, I will inspire your imaginations with another daily disguise series.
Rubber Chicken Ambassador (RCA) is looking for his next victim to whack with a rubber chicken. Beware, it could be you!
RCA frequents fine hotels and fraternal halls. His hat is said to be made from a racoon he captured with the chicken. RCA is a ringleader of a crack team of divious bowling enthusists known collectively as Die Kegleri. Be forewarned if a rubber chicken does not do you in a misplaced bowling ball will.
He was last seen fleeing an international market where he possibly sought secrets to evolve his lasted weapon- nuclear meltdown chicken.

15 October 2010

Water and wine


A trifecta of Johnny Cash on Blog Action Day and throw in a reference to Jesus, too.
I was pondering how much of Jesus' ministry involved water. Let's list a few:
  1. Baptized
  2. Performed water into wine miracle
  3. Frequented boats
  4. Walked on water
  5. Claimed to be living water
  6. Spoke of springs of living water coming out of people
  7. Asks for a drink of water from a woman at a well
  8. Taught about blessing of giving a cup of water in his name
  9. Washed disciples feet with water
Wouldn't it be great if Jesus performed a miracle of turning poor water into clean water? Well he is actually doing that these days through his followers. Samaritans Purse is doing just that with their water projects. I will also plug Wine To Water efforts to get clean accessible water to One Billion People. They currently are working on getting water filters to Pakistan where flood have plagued that region recently.
In Israel and most of the Middle East, the main water source is precipitation which can be collected in cisterns. It seems run off would affect the water quality if there was not any filtration plus if it stands for any period of time it could become stagnant. Because of scarce water supplies access to water has become as important as crude oil in the region.

The next war in the Near East will not be about politics, but over water. -Former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali

It's hard to get over political hurdles. I guess that is why Samaritan's Purse does what they do in addition to the numerous NGOs and charities that are hoping to bring better life to those without clean water.

Back to wine, wine seems to have been an essential, a necessity, to the people of the Bible. Wine may have been drank instead of water probably because it wouldn't go bad (even though I have read the Israeli wine in those days wasn't that good.) This reminds me of why ships gave out rations of rum and beer- because on a long journey the water would go stagnant or get contaminated with salt water. So Jesus' turning water into wine could in fact be beneficial to the guests- especially since it seemed to be better wine.

Posted for Blog Action Day 2010

It rises, the water which floods

 

Johnny Cash once again sings for Blog Action Day 2010. 
And here we  talk about floods. I've lived through a few. Nashville flooded too. I blogged that. 
In this case water proves to be the threaten-er. People and property are harmed by rising waters. There were no flood fatalities in Fargo with caveat that 2 people died due to exertion during flood prevention. Millions in damage was accounted.
Flash floods appear to be killing more people that tornadoes as of late. Urbanization appears to be one of the culprits as water run-off has no place to pool up but on roads and in neighborhoods.
Floods also have the potential to contaminate water sources as run-off cannot be controlled as easily in a flood situation. Sewage systems could be overloaded and intermingle with water sources. 
Long term flooding in the Devil's Lake basin of North Dakota has been hotly debated. Even Canada is concerned because a potential outlet would send water into the Red River Basin and potentially create some environmental issues. I biked through the area this summer. Many roads were closed due to flooding. But the area is still popular with vacationers.

He drank the water

In the film Walk the Line, Joaquin Phoenix portraying Johnny Cash in the scene of the concert at Folsom Prison takes a glass of murky water and throws it to the ground before breaking in Cocaine Blues. In reality the scene did not happen that way. It seems that Cash did do a comic bit about the water at Folsom Prison in both morning and afternoon shows. I don't think he broke a glass like Joaquin did in the film but he made the a comment to the effect that the water looked like it ran off his guitar player's boots. Either scene made the water quality at the prison appear rather poor. In the video above Johnny does another water bit during the San Quentin concert.
Whether the water quality at Folsom Prison was as poor as Johnny Cash suggests, I can find no evidence. However, Folsom Prison is not without its water issues. Back in 2002 there was a sewage spill at the prison which may have contaminated water in the adjacent American River. Tests were made but none proved conclusively that there were higher levels of fecal coliform in water of the river and nearby Lake Folsom. Whew!
California is generally a water needy state and often needs to limit its citizens intake of water. The city of Folsom needed to do that in 2009 when Folsom Lake water levels lowered considerably. The condition was acerbated when a pipeline that carried water from the lake to storage tanks was flattened accidentally.

Posted for Blog Action Day 2010

Eble, a painter of St. Croix River watersheds

This water related story comes out of my alma mater, UMM.
Michael Eble, an UMM studio art professor, got to spend some time alone in a cabin along the St. Croix River this August. He was awarded the Artist at Pine Needles residency. So for three weeks he resided in a rustic cabin thanks to the St. Croix Watershed Research Station.
His task: create a project related to the environment.
The result: a series of 8 abstract paintings of the St. Croix watershed region.

Eble has previously painted aerial landscapes of coastal Louisiana which highlighted coastal erosion.

So what's the take away on this water related issue? I believe it is awareness and specifically awareness how interconnected the watershed is with the land. Artist representation aids in making the citizenry aware.

The St. Croix River watershed cover portions of Eastern Minnesota and Western Wisconsin including such towns as Stillwater, Hinckley, Cable, Spooner, Hayward, New Richmond, Hudson, River Falls. The river is designated a Wild and Scenic River.

For blog action day 2010: http://blogactionday.change.org/

12 October 2010

Conflaggeration

I usually cover floods and parades but yesterday evening I saw something else.
Great billows of smoke rising to the heavens could be seen miles away.
I just got done with work and was intending to go that all purpose store, Fleet Farm. The thick black smoke was coming from the direction of the store.
"This should be interesting." I thought, "Perhaps Fleet Farm is burning."
 The smoke billowed against the sunset making for an excitingly eerie photo. Couldn't you imagine four horsemen galloping out of that malstrom.

I got to Fleet Farm and could see the source of the conflaggeration more clearly. It looked to be approximately a half mile west of the store. I could tell it was an apartment complex from the roof which was engulfed in flames- flames which I could see clearly from by vantage point. You can just barely make them out in the image.
A media report: http://www.wday.com/event/article/id/39475/

06 October 2010

Water, the source

This year I will be participating in Blog Action Day. Topic of concern this year: water.
It is actually something I care about since I drink a lot of it and use it for recreation. Most of my blogging on water has been about flooding but I am not sure how to work that into this blog action day. I guess flooding has potential to contaminate clean water supplies.
Water is one of those essentials for having a healthy life and sadly many places around the globe don't have access to clean water.
Samaritan's Purse helps provide clean water to many communities.
But I'll write more about this and have photos for water.
The photo today is from the Sheyenne Grasslands at a windmill that pumps water into the large trough. Numerous troughs are located in the grasslands as it is a rather dry area. The water must be filtered or treated for human consumption. The cattle just drink it as it is. The Sheyenne River runs through the western part of the grasslands.

05 October 2010

Revenge of Ugly Online Adverts

 Here we go again. Just when you thought the economy was back on track and ad agencies would be hiring the better looking clients, they release these mugs upon the public. I found these all on weather.com, where I suspect most web traffic goes after they update their status.
First, at the top left, we have ugly zombie tooth visor man. Well, he forgot to put on his zombie but could be mistaken as a hillbilly. The ad actually references the images next to it. This is a first. Of course it is a derogatory statement that assumes the ugly zombie tooth visor man is dumb as a bag of rocks, zombie rocks. Surprisingly he looks like a high school classmate of mine named Kevin. He might be a composite of all the Kevins I knew.
Our next model appears to have come from a recent production of Rip Van Wrinkle at the Minneapolis Children's Theater. Either he has lazy eye or just got up on the wrong side of the bed. Of course I would if I needed to do 3 shows a day to unappreciative brats. With this gig all he needed to do was show up and get photographed. He must have image marketing rights. This ad also features an annoying moving pen. Moving parts were much more common a few years ago.

Old cowboy is somewhat respectable. He looks distinguishable but almost too much. He is no Lorne Green.  The nose is what over does it. Also he almost looks like he is blind. He may have strolled over after finishing another Lonesome Dove made for TV movie.