Thursday, May 8, 2008

FINALLY...Great Lakes freighers' ballast water to be flushed with sea water by 2009

This news makes me crazy-happy. New legislation is on the table to require ocean-faring ships to flush their ballast with sea water before entering the great lakes, cutting down on introduction of invasive species when these ships dump their ballast water here. This is how the blasted zebra mussel found its way here from the Caspian Sea. Same with the goby, and that crazy toxic algae from Mars or someplace. Recently Muskegon Lake became a new home for the blood red hemimysis anomala, a type of shrimp from Europe.

Seriously, it's about frickin' time. I like this new way of thinking of the Great Lakes as something other than the Biggest Fisherie on Earth, a way to ship iron ore, or a convenient way to dilute our sewage. Thanks to U.S. Rep. Dale E. Kildee from Flint for pushing on this legislation. But of course, of COURSE Bush is threatening to veto this bill. I mean, of COURSE he is, right? I mean, how could he NOT? His one last act of pointless evil before leaving office. Asshole.

Well...if the bill passes, I'll be thrilled. Then we'll just have to slam the door on water diversions and plug that hole in Lake St. Claire and things will be looking up for my Lake.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008's Obama!

The stalemate has been broken and Obama has dealt the final shell-cracking blow. WHAM! 14% lead in North Carolina and all but a tie in Indiana, where Clinton had to make HUGE victories in all remaining states to secure the nomination. Obama has taken the biggest chunks of the cake, even in the face of withering, gale-force political pounding from Clinton.

Now we're going to see some serious McCain on Obama action. If Clinton stays in the race, she'll be relegated to a side-show like Huckabee was. Maybe she'll have a Saturday Night Live skit.

Wow. This is the first time I've ever been EXCITED about a candidate.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Man Cut Tree

The dismantling of the Mighty Beech Tree has begun. It's so big I kinda feel like I'm some tiny primitive man with a bone knife carving up a wooly mammoth. Except I have a chainsaw.

For some, this would be just another tree. For me it is my epic first time taking apart a tree with a chainsaw. I have to say, it's a fantastic stress reliever. I have my head, eye, and ear protection and I spent a good two weeks reading about chainsaw safety and how to make different cuts. So far the cutting has gone along without incident. My dad has been going over with me to help trim small branches, and have 911 at the ready while I cut. He goes around the tree sawing off the wee twigs and branches that would inhibit rapid cutting with a chainsaw.

Overall, the work is surprisingly fast. I started on one side of the trunk, taking off branches and moving "up" the tree. The wood is piling up pretty rapidly. Once all the branches are off, I'll have to start on the trunk. I don't know exactly how to approach that part.

Much of the tree was still alive when it fell, buds are forming. And when I cut a log off and hold the cross section to my face to smell it I can feel humidity wafting off it. It's still very wet wood, and heavy. It may take two seasons to dry...which makes me wonder if I'll need to find still more sources of wood for THIS year. YAY!

Last night I had a dream that people starting pitching tents on the empty lot where my tree sits, and used my wood for their camp fires. Nooooo...but when I awoke I knew my wood was safe.