Watering Hole: Monday, January 9th, 2012 – The Coming Ice Age

There is an Atlantic chill coming to the east coast of the United States and to western Europe.  According to an article in the Sierra Club magazine, climate scientists are tacking

…a widening pool of freshwater in the Arctic Ocean that’s already more than twice the size of Africa’s Lake Victoria.  Fed by melting permafrost, shrinking glaciers, and Siberian downpours, the freshwater is expected to flush from the Arctic into the Atlantic.

When it gets there, it could slow or even stop the Gulf Stream, the great oceanic conveyor belt that brings tropical waters, and temperate weather, to northern latitudes. Normally, these waters—cooled by winds and made increasingly dense and salty by evaporation and ice formation—plunge below lighter, less-saline water near Greenland, powering the cycle.

But according to Laura de Steur of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research, 1,800 cubic miles of meltwater pooling in the Arctic could throw the brakes on that system, rapidly ratcheting down temperatures in a way that we haven’t experienced since the last ice age, 13,000 years ago.

The change in the Atlantic Ocean’s salinity will have a chilling effect on the east coast and in countries on the western side of Europe. The last time that the Gulf Stream slowed and moved further south, it took 1,300 years for it to pick up speed and move north.

This is our Open Thread.  Are you ready for the big chill?  What else do you want to discuss?  Speak Up!


194 thoughts on “Watering Hole: Monday, January 9th, 2012 – The Coming Ice Age

  1. Interestingly, I came across this hypothesis earlier today on the BBC, suggesting that CO2 emissions may forestall the next global ice age, due in about 1500 years (a relatively short time).
    Regardless, there will be regional climate changes that cause noticeable disruptions to social and economic conditions world wide. A Russian tanker is attempting to make a delivery of oil to Nome Alaska to save it from freezing, the first ever passage in winter; hopefully a successful attempt.
    Global patterns of weather and climate will change in erratic fashion, it’s going to get confusing.
    Meanwhile, I’ve found part time work in the timber industry, traipsing around in the forest with a GPS and a laptop recording data; while on off days doing riparian restoration work as a volunteer with a conservation group, countering the effects of logging.
    Neither group is aware of my activities with the other… 😉
    Knowledge is power!

    • So we really don’t know what will happen with the changing climate 🙂

      Talk the loggers into using work horses instead of trucks. There’s less damage to the environment. My husband is very active with Trout Unlimited doing riparian restoration. He’ll probably continue volunteering after we move to Oregon.

      Good luck with your job. Unless we are true hunters and gatherers, we need an income to provide food and shelter.

      • Timbering is highly regulated and monitored here, to good effect. It’s also high tech, and while not everyone likes the rules and regulations, there’s consideration given to everything from newts to 2×4’s.
        While not my occupational path, this work will be helpful in the future to help me understand what’s going on here in the bigger picture of things.
        TU is very active hereabouts, your husband will have plenty of opportunities!
        Steelhead season is beginning, I’m hoping to catch one that has the implanted radio transmitter, see what kind of music they like.

      • There are areas in Oregon where only horses are used in logging, because motorized vehicles are banned. There are also a number of farms using only draft horses–best part of the Oregon State Fair was visiting those horses and viewing all the photos of them working throughout the different seasons.

    • The Sierra article focuses on the change in ocean salinity and temperature and how this change effects the slow moving, deep currents that travel the globe.

      What can I say… great minds think alike 🙂

  2. Beefed up my rant about my bank. Enjoy.

    As for the article about the gulf stream, the right-wingers will see frost in the summer, or icebergs off England as all the anecdotal information they need to keep screeching the the earth is getting colder; not warmer. You can just already hear the dismissive comments from the right on any of their shows: “I don’t know about you, but if see an ice berg off the coast of England, I can’t imagine how that’s a sign of global warming. Ice is cold, not warm. Global warming can’t produce more ice and frost. That doesn’t make sense.”


  3. Whew, that’s a relief! I was really worried about global warming!

    /snucking fark.

  4. Remember these famous old lyrics?

    This land is your land, this land is my land
    From California, to the New York Island
    From the redwood forest, to the gulf stream waters
    This land was made for you and me

    Somebody’s going to have to rewrite Woody Guthrie’s words once the Gulf Stream dies. How about this:

    This land is their land, this land ain’t my land
    From California, to the New York ICE land
    From the redwood forest to the Key West glacier
    This land was screwed by wingnut fools”

    The GOoPer Candidate Chorus could sing it at their debates, maybe?

  5. So here’s the Monday morning Republican gaffe de jour, Mittens in N.H.

    “I want individuals to have their own insurance. That means the insurance company will have an incentive to keep you healthy. It also means that if you don’t like what they do, you could fire them. I like being able to fire people who provide services to me. You know, if someone isn’t giving the good service, I want to say, I’m going to go get someone else to provide this service to.”

    Yes, fire your police and fire services after starving them, right Mittens?

    Oh, and make sure you ask for a different waiter the next time the kitchen is slow getting your gourmet meal to your table, asshole.

    You certainly enjoyed making millions off of putting people out of work as you shuttered their companies, didn’t you Mittens?

    H/T TPM

    • If you don’t like what your insurance company does, you can fire them. Oh? So, if you get cancer and your insurance company denies benefits, you can fire them, and get insurance….where?

      • As I understand it, through the ACA, an insurance company cannot deny you coverage because of a pre-existing condition, however, no one said anything about the premiums that you would likely have to pay.

      • Right, as if I could fire the insurance company that my employer engages, geezus Mittens, could you be more fucking clueless???

      • He takes an “I’ve got mine, and I’ve got yours” approach to wealth creation.

      • Thanks for the link:
        Here’s a tidbit from the site:

        1.) (n.) a member of an order noted for devotional exercises involving bodily movements.

        2.) (n.) a Rocking Demon who eats souls.

        I’ll take #2 as a depiction of Mittens…

    • He enjoys firing people period. Why else does vulture capitalism appeals to him? He keeps telling people who he is, people should listen.

  6. It is interesting that “global warming” may lead to an ice age. Many people, when asked if there was some sort of global catastrophe and they could save only one book, they’d save “The Bible.” Me? I’d save something along the lines of “The Idiots’ Guide to Hunting and Gathering.”

    • Is there a single book that covers Hunting and Gathering as well as Making a Shelter, Starting and Keeping a Fire, Things You Shouldn’t Eat (Even if that mushroom looks good.) and Navigating by the Stars? In case of such global catastrophe, I may just try find some of our Zoosters. Seems we have some pretty knowledgeable outdoor people right here. (I wouldn’t be a burden, I am an excellent helper and don’t eat much 😉 )

      • We’re coming to you Dycker, stay put. I’ll bring some yeast starters and hop rhizomes.

        • I’ll be waiting for you. Perhaps I should work on a cellar and stock it up with beer in the mean time.

    • I took a quick look at survival books to see which one I would hang on to – apart from the Complete Works of the Boy Scouts (if there is one)…. there is Bear Grylls old outfit, the SAS Survival Guide to look out for.

      But this is the must-have book – “the Zombie Survival Guide”


      “Top 10 Lessons for Surviving a Zombie Attack

      1. Organize before they rise!
      2. They feel no fear, why should you?
      3. Use your head: cut off theirs.
      4. Blades don’t need reloading.
      5. Ideal protection = tight clothes, short hair.
      6. Get up the staircase, then destroy it.
      7. Get out of the car, get onto the bike.
      8. Keep moving, keep low, keep quiet, keep alert!
      9. No place is safe, only safer.
      10. The zombie may be gone, but the threat lives on.

      Don’t be carefree and foolish with your most precious asset—life. This book is your key to survival against the hordes of undead who may be stalking you right now without your even knowing it. The Zombie Survival Guide offers complete protection through trusted, proven tips for safeguarding yourself and your loved ones against the living dead. It is a book that can save your life.

    • I went to a museum one time and saw this sign next to an old Bible. It ammused me, so I took a picture of the sign… the sign read:

      “Please do not touch the Bible.”

      • That’s right, God forbid (heh) you would want to read it and figure out how undivively inspired it is..

    • The video is odd yet amusing at the same time.
      Very interesting there are “talented” people with the thought process to produce this!

        • ….and the woman was more horrified at the sight of the penis rather than the cutting off of said penis.

    • I’m not sure that I will get that image out of my head. Boomerang Pizza… is that pizza that will keep coming back up on you?

    • Sad but true, although the last paragraph in the article got a chuckle..

      …But perhaps the last word came from one of Cho’s Twitter followers, who wrote, “Whoever did this needs to get fired. But the real issues is you are in NYC getting Papa Johns, why?!?”

      • Exactly.

        In Moscow, the Papa John’s located almost exactly between the high school and the university, in the heart of downtown, closed cuz no one wanted their crappy pizza. Not even teenagers who will eat anything and college student who will eat anything cheap.

  7. Just this morning I ran across this apparent biblical (Genesis) re-translation. No word as to its origin or whether the original was Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew or Latin. However, the cosmic wisdom does come through loud and clear.

    In the beginning, God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, with green and yellow and red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

    Then, using God’s bountiful gifts, Satan created Ben and Jerry’s and Krispy Kreme.

    And Satan said: “You want hot fudge with that?”

    And Man said: “Yes!”

    And Woman said: “I’ll have one, too…with sprinkles.”

    And lo they gained 10 pounds.

    And God created the healthful yogurt that Woman might keep the figure that Man found so fair.

    And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat, and sugar from the cane, and combined them.

    And Woman went from size 2 to size 14.

    So God said: “Try my fresh green garden salad.”

    And Satan presented crumbled Bleu Cheese dressing and garlic toast on the side.

    And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

    God then said: “I have sent you heart-healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them.”

    And Satan brought forth deep-fried coconut shrimp butter-dipped lobster chunks, and chicken-fried steak so big it needed its own platter.

    And Man’s cholesterol went through the roof.

    Then God brought forth the potato, naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition.

    Then Satan peeled off the healthful skin, sliced the starchy center into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats adding copious quantities of salt, all to be washed down with artificially flavored sodas oversweetened with huge amounts of high-fructose corn syrup.

    And Man packed on more pounds.

    God then brought forth running shoes so that his children might lose those extra pounds.

    And Satan introduced cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels.

    And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretchy Lycra jogging suits as they sat on the couch all evening.

    God then gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

    And Satan created McDonald’s and the 99-cent double cheeseburger, and then asked “Do you want fries with that?”

    And Man replied: “Yes! And super size ’em!”

    And Satan said: “It is good.”

    And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

    God sighed…and created quadruple by-pass surgery.

    Satan chuckled and created HMOs.

  8. Don’t panic, everyone. pRick Santorum has told us that climate change isn’t happening. God won’t let anything bad happen to white, heterosexual, American, Christians. Unless? The homos start getting married. If the homos get married then Jebus will kill everyone and send them to Hell.


    What if pRick is wrong? Well, I have my spot for a last stand picked out. Good hunting and fishing, plenty of edible flora, and it even has a cave (I have never seen said cave marked on a map!) that’s deep enough that it doesn’t get below freezing and even has a spring.

    • …a cave (I have never seen said cave marked on a map!) that’s deep enough that it doesn’t get below freezing and even has a spring.

      Is it large enough for a Zoo Commune?

      • It could hold a small commune. The biggest shortcoming is a lack of level living space but platforms could be built and, assuming someone brings chisels, hammocks could be hung.

    • “calls climate science junk science”

      Well Rick, I call your 2000 year old mind control cult – ‘junk religion’, come to think of that’s a tautology…. let’s just go with ‘junk’

    • He thinks so too. TaztheTurtle is currently learning where the bathroom is and if he is higher in the pack pecking order than AndytheTurtle.

  9. Buh-bye Huntsman.

    Huntsman: “I agree with the Ryan plan. I think I’m the only one on the stage who’s embraced the Ryan plan.”

    Here’s your clown nose.

  10. Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History

    Edward Palmer Collections

    Edward Palmer (1831-1911), often regarded as “the father of ethnobotany,” gathered extensive natural history collections in North and South America.

  11. Mitt Romney Never Intended To Run For President — Honest!

    “My family got me into this again,” Romney said in a crowded diner. “My dear wife was the one that convinced me to run again, believing that having spent my life in the private sector, having learned how jobs come and go, that I was in a good position to get this private sector, this economy moving again. I want to help small business, I want to help small business succeed and thrive.”

    Then get the fuck out, you lying fuck.

    • Srsly, these lines just write themselves as the clown car hurtles through New England, careening on two wheels down the road to Charleston…

    • So if Ron Paul’s philosophy is like a spoiled little kid, what describes his bratty offspring who creates his own certification agency because he couldn’t pass the other’s exam??

    • Desperately confused people, stubborn in their ignorance. One of them (a 19 year old, surprise) reports that insurance would be if all the regulations on hospitals, drug manufacturers and “businesses” were removed. In a follow-up, another Randista claims that drug manufacturers would be more accountable because people would sue them without financial limits.

      These people inhabit a truly weird fantasy world. It’s also clear that they all have Google Alerts telling them whenever their Dear Leader’s name is mentioned on the Innernets.

      • That is the truth, seemingly never thinking any idea all the way through – very much like the Repubs.

        The pharmaceutical company can be trusted to regulate itself///

        I was under the impression that lawsuits wouldn’t be allowed in the RP universe.

        Do they really think charities associated with certain religions won’t impose that faith on those seeking medical assistance? Perhaps not allowing certain procedures that may save a life?

      • …another Randista claims that drug manufacturers would be more accountable because people would sue them without financial limits.

        Apparently not familiar with tort reform laws, is he?

  12. Well? We’re having another beautiful March/April day in January. We’ve hit 40 degrees 4 times, set two new records, had only one day that didn’t hit 30 degrees and (by my unofficial records) are currently 18.7 degrees above normal for the month of January! The only snow on the ground are plowing piles in the shade.

    While out for my walk I noticed that the local pond is about half open water and the ducks and geese are feeding happily. We have a flock of robins who are spending their second winter in the neighborhood. The ground isn’t frozen in most places and the melt water is soaking in. That’s actually a good thing but will become moot if our drought continues. That doesn’t mention that we could see some major plant die off if we do get severe cold before snow.

    The really good part is that this weather is too unusual to deny or ignore. Girls in shorts or skirts seldom go unnoticed.The hardcore deniers are still playing the “a few warm days don’t mean anything” card but it rings more hollow with each new warming event. The really bad part is that a winter that’s this aberrant can really play Hell with the environment.

  13. Catholicism gone loopy:

    “During his Boxing Day sermon, the Bishop of Córdoba, Demetrio Fernández, said there was a conspiracy by the United Nations. ‘The Minister for Family of the Papal Government, Cardinal Antonelli, told me a few days ago in Zaragoza that UNESCO has a program for the next 20 years to make half the world population homosexual. To do this they have distinct programs, and will continue to implant the ideology that is already present in our schools.’ ”

    Bonus: Abortion a bigger problem than joblessness, says Catholic Church.


    • Note to Catholic Church Hierarchy:

      Cluelessness is a bigger problem than either abortion or homosexuality.
      The Bishop prick should stick to his fine Corinthian leather interiors.

    • Once Mittens becomes the Republican (cough..*) nominee, Obama needs to bash him over the head with BainBAINBainBAINBainBAINBainBAINBainBAIN for a month or two.

  14. THIS JUST IN….

    Rick Perry is slightly trailing Buddy Roemer in New Hampshire, according to the latest Suffolk University tracking poll out of the state.


  15. What this world needs is a good inquisition. Time for the righteous to clean out the trash again.

  16. Buttressing the theory that Newt Gingrich is a dumb person’s idea of a smart person, Newt has gotten the endorsement of Todd Palin.

    • I’m totally amazed that Todd had the ability to take time out from banging the hairdresser to endorse the BoxORox that is Newter Gingrich.

    • @daveweigel:
      “Newt breaks news of Todd Palin endorsement to NH. Voter: “I don’t know why it would matter to anybody.”

  17. QOTD:

    “You have to ask the question, is capitalism really about the ability of a handful of rich people to manipulate the lives of thousands of people and then walk off with the money?” — Newt Gingrich, channeling his socialist bent.

  18. via RawStory:

    After [Chris] Christie took the stage, protesters changed their message to “Christie kills jobs!”

    “Really?” Christie sneered, walking towards the protesters in a menacing way. “You know, something may go down tonight, but it ain’t gonna be jobs, sweetheart.”

    If that slob ever said anything like that in my general vicinity, I’d send in an expedition to find his nuts, and would then kick them into his vacant brain pan.

    • His hate is eating his brain.

      In order to accomplish such bile-filled hate and resentment AND have the loving relationship he described with his wife, he must be a real Jekyll & Hyde character.

      He seems to enjoy spreading the blame around, so I wonder if it ever occurred to him that if he’d left his “non-political” wife at home, she’d still be alive?

      • Bingo on that last point, Zooey.

        And then there is this ridiculous paragraph:

        These are not the words of a grief-stricken man caught in a rare emotional outburst, but the deeply considered thoughts calmly and clearly expressed by Morris in a pair of interviews, months apart.

        “Deeply considered thoughts”? Hardly. This is the spewing of bile from someone who hasn’t deeply considered anything, probably in his entire life.

        Fuck you, old man.

      • He was a Democrat when he worked as a pilot. It sounds like he started watching Fox news and Glenn Beck and went downhill from there.

        • I used to be a moderate, until I started paying attention. Funny how some people slide into the hate-filled pit of conservatism after they start paying attention. Maybe it’s just easier than having to contemplate actual solutions.

          • I think that you, I, and the rest of the “left” are still “moderates”. Speaking only for myself; I would say that I’m a lifelong moderate who finally realized that the GOP has been seized by the extreme right-wing.

            I thought that Nixon was an aberration so I was taken in by Raygun but I was deeply uneasy with the “useful idiots” called the Moral Majority. Within a few years I decided that I couldn’t vote for dominionists but I can remember the exact moment that I became a fervent anti-GOoPer.

            I voted against Dubbya, because he was a moron, but i was still changed forever when he played his little bit of searching under the podium for the missing WMD. It finally crashed in on me and I realized that the whole attack on Iraq was a fuckin’ joke to those who ordered it. Since that moment, with no change in sight, I will never vote for anyone with an (R) after their name until and unless they admit that invading Iraq was wrong. They would have to do a whole lot more but, until they make that admission, I will only see their negatives.

  19. Allen West: Military Leaders ‘Should Be Very Careful About Blindly Following A Commander-In-Chief’

    Wow, say it ain’t so — a teabagger who served in the military (but was forced out because he’s fucking insane), but doesn’t seem to know that military leaders are supposed to follow the legal orders of the commander-in-chief.

    It’s in the Constitution. You know, that document teabaggers like to wrap themselves in, while attempting to nail themselves on the cross.

    • If President Obama was a GOoPer? Mr. West would wake, late at night, to find his bed surrounded by about a dozen heavily armed masked men who would explain the chain of command in great detail.

  20. How blind is my dog?

    I took the metal lid off the treat jar and was reaching in to get one for her, and she took the lid out of my hand and tried to eat it. Oy…

    No wonder the tips of my fingers have lately been in mortal danger!

      • She weighs 50 lbs! Although she has been dropping weight like mad because of her kidneys.

        I gave her three treats. 😳

    • Normally I’m not fond of processed “food” but I must admit to a weakness, on occasion, for sharp cheddar aerosol cheese on Triscuits. I also discovered that cats love said cheese as a treat. In fact my former cat, Polly, even figured out how to serve herself. If I left the can where she could find it she could pull off the cap and empty the can.

      She would also turn lights on when I left her alone and the screen door wouldn’t even slow her down. She would jump up and work the handle on a dead run if she wanted out and the opportunity was open. I also enjoyed a lot of wasted moments watching her try to work doorknobs but she never quite mastered them. She would also turn the old TV off if I was ignoring her.

      I was hopeful that her daughter and my current cat, Tigger, would prove to be as smart but it just didn’t happen. Tigger’s only trick is manipulation. I think that (NOTE: The following is a scientific observation and not a value statement.) she got spoiled because she spent her formative years living with a woman who doted on her. Then, while living with a friend’s family while I was living in places that didn’t allow pets, she got nervous from living with young kids, other cats, and a dog. The happy part is that now that I have her back she seems really glad to have her own dish with no kids or cats or dogs as competition. She’s settled into a content old age (She just turned 15.) and likes nothing better than spending half her waking hours purring on my lap. She was only 5 1/2 pounds when I reclaimed her, five years ago, and is now at a healthy 9 pounds and can still vertically jump about 5 feet when she’s chasing a toy.

    • Knee replacement? You’d be surprised – my dad had both replaced. The first time he waited until he couldn’t sleep with the pain anymore and couldn’t get around hardly. His recovery went really well, so miuch so, he couldn’t wait to get in get his second done after 4-5 years. Oh and he’s had a hip out too in the intervening years….

      • My dad had both knees replaced, and my mom had one knee and both hips replaced.

        After the knee surgeries they were both in a lot of pain, but my mom did all of her physical therapy and it went great for her. My dad found every excuse in the world why he shouldn’t do his PT, and he’s always had problems.

        • I think that’s the difference – doing the PT – it is painful, but the mobility he got back and the lack of pain in general use was so worth it.

  21. Speaking of dogs, my oldest, Cleo (in my gravatar if my switch worked) had been limping last week, then on Saturday she suddenly would not put any weight on her back left leg. Went to the vet today and she thinks it’s an ligament problem. So, the vet says to rest for 3 weeks – NO EXERCISE AT ALL – and some anti-inflammatories and pain killer. Then she says Cleo may need surgery. Now, surgery cost a bit, that’s not an issue for us, but we’ve just spent a couple hours researching and it appears that knee surgery for dogs is NOT the best option. Any zooster have any experience with dogs knees? Looks like our household will be making some adjustments. Jake – our other dog – still needs exercise and in the last couple days really misses Cleo on his walks.

    • Cleo has a loving face. Three weeks without outdoor walks — what’s a pup to do?
      How old is Cleo?

      • Cleo will be 11 in April. She has slowed down over the years. We used to go hiking twice a month – 10 – 15 km (that’s 6 – 9 miles for ya’ll lower 49ers) but last year we only went on 4 hikes. She just can’t go that far any more. On a daily basis, both our dogs get anywhere from 3/4 to 1 1/2 hours walking with at least 1/2 hour offleash. Looking into it is seems that rest and no exercise seems to be the best. Being near 11, I think we will be able to deal with the non-surgical route.

    • dycker, I can relate and am somewhat envious because you seem to have an option that might provide some short term help for your Cleo. But the question is, is it what is best for her? None of us ever what to let our furry friends go, they are too much a part of us but does spending money for a possible short term fix benefit you or her more? I live with this every day because my Mook is slowly slipping away and there isn’t a damn thing I can do to stop it. When I see him stumble and hop I sometimes curse myself for wanting to hold on to him.

      Your choice isn’t an easy one, they never are. I wish you the best and hope it works out.

      • Thanks, hooda. What is really tough is determining how much pain she is in. But, if we go no exercise and no surgery, then if, in 3 weeks, she starts putting some pressure on the leg, then we could surmise that her pain is lessened and the knee is healing. If she still doesn’t put pressure on the leg after 3 weeks then do we go ahead with a very odd sounding and scary surgery that has a low success rate only to put her in more pain? That’s when images of old yeller get in my head.

        Thanks again for your wishes.

          • Apparently it does. Just chatted over the fence with my neighbours, they have been giving their dogs glucosamine and claim that the dogs seem healthier (but they don’t walk them as much).

          • Vets can prescribe special food with GC. We had some for our dog and it seemed to help her a lot.

            Our cat Niki hurt a rear leg ligament when he tried to get to the pigeons walking on the roof by climbing up onto the suspended ceiling at the car shop. We had to keep him in a crate for about six weeks until it had time to heal. It worked.

        • Seriously. GC is basically joint lube for humans. It helps, I know because I use it and have many friends who do as well. It isn’t a miracle cure but it helps by boosting lubrication in joints. Check it out for dogs, dycker.

        • That’s the pisser. We just don’t know what they are really thinking/feeling. The fact is that, as long as she doesn’t put weight on it, it might not hurt at all. She could just adapt. Or? It could hurt a lot and it’s nearly impossible to tell. Having had a wide variety of pets that I’ve outlived I have a pretty simple rule.

          As long as they eat, drink, and defecate? They probably aren’t suffering too much. It seems like animals just stop their normal functions when they know the time is right.

          Also, just like your own health, you have to be your own advocate. Ask questions, research alternatives, and never assume a vet actually has a better handle on the situation than you do. If it’s any help; a neighbor’s German Sheppard lost a leg when, as a puppy, she tangled with a piece of farm equipment. She lived a very long, happy, life even though she had to swim in circles. (She also chased me down once but that was my mistake.)

          • If you can look in an animal’s eyes and not tell if they are hurting, you should probably register as a Republican. Certainly never talk to me.

            • Cleo will out stare me. Kind of gives me the willy’s. In life before Cleo, I was terrified of dogs. Cleo is my first dog. My second dog, will not look into my eyes!

            • Yes and no. There’s a difference between nagging, chronic, pain and being truly incapacitated by, and suffering from, said pain. Generally, I have found, like you, that our pets manage to tell us but it’s tricky. I think the point that I’m trying to make is that a pet and their owner are better equipped to make decisions than a vet.

              My very first pet was a miniature dachshund named Fritz. He thought he was a wolf and could even be vicious. For some reason he took a dislike to my first brother in law and had to be restrained in his presence. Some years later my sister said that she should have taken Fritz’s advice but that’s not germain to the present discussion.

              Anyway. My second pet was a Belgian Sheppard named Teddy. When Teddy was a puppy Fritz maintained his dominance but that ended after about a year. Then, one day, Fritz pushed the issue and Teddy savaged him. We took Fritz to the vet and, even though he stitched him up, he recommended that we put Fritz down. I knew he was tougher than that.

              Long story short; Fritz made a full recovery, learned his place, and had the last laugh by living a month longer than Teddy. Oddly enough, I think that part of the reason Fritz died was that he lost his alpha.

            • If Cleo will meet your eye, she will let you know. I’ve known many dogs in my life and when it came down to it, they always let me know. Its a trust thing, I think.

          • Good rule petelngh. My wife and I were saying just that. Cleo has no problem at dinner time (or other times!). I was concerned about the defecating with a bum leg, but that seems to be no problemo.

  22. Just to be silly…

    I believe I heard a guy say that a woman thinks someone said someone else divined an echo of a vision of FAUX”News” serving human flesh at their 4th of July BBQ. Cannibals!!!

  23. ESPN has apparently borrowed the on-screen graphics people from Fox. You know, the ones who put a ‘D’ after the Republicans’ names that get caught red-handed at something. First time back from commercial during halftime, with Alabama leading 9-0, and the score read LSU – 9 Alabama – 0

    Alabama kicked the third field goal on the last play of the half, and gets the ball to start the second half.

  24. Speaking of sick pets. I have a firefish that is about 8 years old. He/she has been stone blind for two years but comes out to search for food, which it finds by randomly pecking at the bottom, when I turn off the nearest filter and is still fat and healthy.

          • The first time I saw a firefish forced me to take the plunge and I’ve had at least one since I started my first marine aquarium in 1986. That even includes keeping a second tank, just for the firefish, when I went through my phase where I wanted fish that could eat the firefish. Speaking of my aquarium…

            I just ordered a “coral banded shrimp” (Google for images) and I have my eye on a Koran angel fish (same). The local store got in the angel fish today and, assuming it stays healthy for a week or so, I’ll add it to my tank. The one that they got in is about the size of a silver dollar and still in the blue, with white “finger prints”, stage. My last one, which died when I last moved, transformed to the adult color scheme in two years.

      • Forbidden

        You don’t have permission to access /fish/images/firefish1.jpg on this server.

        Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.

        • Did a work around and got the photo —
          gorgeous. Easy to see where its name came from.

          pete, I imagine your tank to be a beautiful rainbow of color.
          Watching all your friends swim must be soooo sooothing!

          • Yes. It is soooooothing. Good music, a few good beers, and watching the fish is really good therapy.

            I really have to get the whole digital download thing figured out so that I can share photos and/or video. If I don’t end up adding the new, and rather expensive, angel fish I just might buy a digital camera which should simplify the process.

  25. LSU was first able to cross the 50 yard line on offense with under eight minutes to go in the game. Facing 4th and 18 at the 40, the Tide strips LSU QB Jordan Jefferson of the ball, in a sack attempt, and recovers, at the 50. 6:15 to play, Alabama ball.

    I’m starting to think we’re going to keep this one. Alabama 15 LSU 0. Clock is moving under 5 minutes to go.

    • Trent Richardson scores the first touchdown in 8 quarters as Alabama puts it away!

      • Thanks Ebb!

        It’s a final! Alabama – 21 LSU – 0

        National Championship #14!

        • I have no favorites in college football. Living in Minnesota, the local team has been awful, brutally awful, for 50 freakin’ years! Still, 21-0 in the title game is a whuppin’ worth bragging about.

  26. BCS National Champions – Southeastern Conference
    1998 – Tennessee
    2003 – LSU (Nick Saban as coach)
    2006 – Florida
    2007 – LSU
    2008 – Florida
    2009 – Alabama (Nick Saban as coach)
    2010 – Auburn
    2011 – Alabama (Nick Saban as coach)

    Tonight’s game marks the first ever loss in a BCS Championship Game by a SEC team, inevitable, since both teams were from the SEC!

    • I can’t help but return to a single thought when i look at college football. Let’s just drop the pretense and make Div 1 a “farm league” for the NFL.

    • I know what you mean, Pete. Last year we had snow on the ground at this time.

      We’ve had highs above 60 recently, and no indication it may get cold enough to use my wood stove much at all.

  27. Yosemite like you’ve never seen it (10 photos)

    Tioga Road in the high country of Yosemite National Park has no snow and is open to cars. This is the latest in winter that 9,943-foot Tioga Pass has been open since park officials started keeping records in 1933.

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