Friday, November 2, 2012

Holding Back the Sea 

As I watch places like New Jersey, Staten Island, Manhattan, the Northeastern states, as well as New Orleans trying to cope with devastating storms, I think of the old story of the little boy with his finger in the dike.

In the story Hans Brinkeror The Silver Skates written by American author, Mary Maples Dodge in 1865, the boy puts his finger in the dike to avoid a catastrophe. This is an example of band aid surgery that we in the U.S. need to rethink. For the second year in a row, the Northeast is coping with a natural disaster and we need to plan ahead.

If we look to the "low countries" around the North Sea in Western Europe, such as the Netherlands, they have successfully dealt with existing with the sea and coping with regular floods. 

That area of the world has been struggling to hold back the sea for thousands of years. If we look around the world to places such as Venice, they have always struggled to coexist with the surrounding water. 

If we can learn anything from history, we have to assume natural disasters will happen again. We have to prepare for the distant future, not just next year by rebuilding in flood plains with no regard to the probability that it will happen again. Yes, this country is resilient and optimistic. We discuss and argue about everything which sometimes means nothing gets done. We paralyze ourselves with indecision. If we want the best of everything, we have to be willing to pay for it for all the people, not just a select few. The land of opportunity shouldn't mean the opportunity to take advantage of others.

It is a sad, sad situation that we see on news clips and we certainly don't want it to happen again. Hurricanes will continue and floods will continue. We can't stop the weather, so we in the U.S. will have to face reality and decide what is the goal regarding our coastlines and our own "low countries".

We can't go back. What will be will be; we have to get ready. If we want to preserve our beaches and cities, we will have to analyze the situation and either commit to engineering ways to hold back the sea, or stop building on coastal areas. We will have to stop arguing about the cause and deal with our new reality. The U.S. needs to learn from other areas of the world who are experts at holding back the sea.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


This beast is mid-rutting season, haunting my neighborhood looking to get lucky. He chases "anything in skirts" and the ladies can't get away from him fast enough. They run behind fences, tree trunks, across streets and into the creek. She is elusive and he is randy.

I don't understand it. Why aren't the gals eager for a roll in the hay with this magnificent speciman of horniness? Did he not get the memo that dinner and a movie helps to set a mood? Did he send flowers, buy candy? How do they decide to get it on and do the deed? Is it always kind of like rape, or is there a perfect mate out there for everyone?

I actually observed this momentous occasion one afternoon when he found his true love. He must have spent five minutes carefully lapping her bottom. Then he jumps up to the area and bam. Like a one-shot cannon--slam, bam, thank you ma'am. One whack and he's done. Was it good for you too? Must have been, because they went their separate ways, no harm, no foul. He didn't hang around for breakfast.

I thought to myself, why am I being such a voyeur, peeping Tom sort of person, but I lived on a farm in my early life and got used to nature's ways. Never before having observed a white-tailed deer getting it on, I admit that I was spellbound to watch creation in my backyard. Then, I had to laugh when I saw the Lothario settle down for a long nap. Something connected to those testosterone genes that says nap required.