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A walk in the woods, just as it started to rain --



I was in the UP a couple of weeks ago. Luke is doing very well and I miss him. We went to go look at a piece of property that I have my eye on.
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I have a room at Wiscon -- and there is one more space available.

I've also got a bit more cash than I normally do, and I was thinking I'd like to offer this space to someone who might not normally be able to go to Wiscon. So if you know someone who's decided at the last moment that they'd like to come (yeah, I know this is super late notice) let them know that there's a free room and I'd be able to pick up their membership, if they need that too. They'll have to provide their own transportation.

The roomies are sensitive to strong smells, so no smokers or use of scent. And they'll either have to share a bed with me or camp out on the floor.

There've been three times that I went to Wiscon and slept in my car. It's better than not going to Wiscon at all, but it's challenging. So if you know of anyone who might need a room, send them my way. Also, feel free to pimp this. Wiscon runs from May 26-29.

Also, I'm going to be driving from Lansing, MI, and I've got a minivan. If anyone needs a ride along the way, I'm game.
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Almost a decade ago, James Lovelock said that he thought climate change would be good for us in the way that WWII was good for Great Britain, that is, everyone will pull together and work toward the common good.

James Lovelock is a bit of a nut.

I've been thinking about this, about US response to real or perceived shrinkage of resources, and how different societies will deal with fewer resources. We have lots of food now. Lots and lots. But over the next decade, the cost of food will rise significantly. I think that within the next decade, there's a good chance that it'll go back to historical levels, more in line with the cost of food world wide. That means that the cost of what Usians buy now will almost double, from the average of 12% we spend today to 18% - 20%. And that's the average; 90% of Usians will be paying much more of their discretionary income for food.



As the cost of food goes up, and the availability of some things like coffee and bananas decreases, folk will become resentful, and the ones closer to the bottom will become very afraid. People who are honestly afraid do some crazy shit, like vote to take food away from someone else' children.

Or more like, slowly vote to take away services like after-school programs, well-child visits, psychological services, and on and on, until you get to everybody for themselves. It's like how the body will sacrifice internal organs, the liver or the kidneys, to send blood to the brain. The problem being that you can't live without your liver or kidneys.

Doug Sanders wrote in this Globe and Mail piece: "Sri Lanka, for example, is also experiencing a drought this year – its worst water shortage in four decades, one that has wiped out the entire year’s rice crop. Yet nobody in rice-dependent Sri Lanka is starving: The government simply spent $350-million to import enough rice to make up to for the losses. This hurt the Sri Lankan currency, but the economy has kept growing and people are eating."

Instead of being reassured, I wonder how often Sri Lanka will be able to do this?

On top of drought, we're looking at about 1.5" of sea level rise per year over the next ten years, which doesn't sound like much, but that's 15" in ten years, which is a hell of a lot. Between heat and drought in the desert states to flooding on the coasts, millions of people will be forced to relocate. You can think of it as a hundred Katrinas, stretched out over a decade, one after another. Most of those folks will have lost not only their jobs, but all the equity of their property.

Pulling back to look at the big picture, I can imagine that as the cost of food goes up and people have less discretionary income, they won't be getting that new phone or that new pair of jeans. And they won't be able to go grab a burger, because just the adult sandwich is gonna cost $10-$15, let alone the fries and the coke. And though minimum wage is edging up in some places, I don't expect it to double over the next ten years. Especially these next ten years.

According to the internet, the US has about 3,750,000 or so people working in fast food. I think that industry is gonna tank, and that there's not going to be a whole lot of jobs around for the two or three million people who'll be out a job. And of course, if won't just be these guys out of a job. Every other industry that depends of high levels of discretionary money spending will be firing staff -- clothing, books, toys, tourism. Millions and millions of people out of work, and even more, and those with fewer safety nets, in other parts of the world.

All of this at once. Now. Politically, policy-wise, I wonder what that will look like.

Garden!

Apr. 26th, 2017 06:22 am
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My raspberries made it through the transplant and are all sprouting leaves. Yay! I also have four blueberries -- two died last year so I'm looking to get two more. I'm going to order the variant Blueberry Glaze -- it reminds me of a type that grows in the UP, deep purple-black and sweet.

My crazy schedule has kept me from planting anything, but I got my paper done early, so I have time to go out today. I'm going to plant the broccoli and greens that I shoulda planted two weeks ago. Then I have my last clinical from 2:30 - 10:30 tonight.
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I really hate tests.

I've got one week of this semester of nursing school remaining. Remaining is one paper (half way done, due on Thursday, piece of cake), one quiz and two exams -- the section exam on Monday and the comprehensive final on Thursday.

To pass the course, I need to pass clinicals (I have; I am awesome at clinicals), have a greater than 81% average on my exams (currently 80.72%) and have a greater than 81% overall (currently 87%). My main concern is that it is quite possible that I could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by tanking on the exams. I don't think that this will happen, but that is my fear.

Bleh. Stay on target.

Today I have to run the kids to school and run Jerome to the library and then to DHS, lecture from 10a-2p (we get breaks), pick up Mike from work (his car broke down two weeks ago) and an IEP meeting at the school for Trentyn at 2:30. Then home, supper, and off to finish my paper.

One more week.
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I think I've had a UTI for the last 2-4 weeks. No real symptoms other than night sweats, urgency. But I just chalked it up to being post menopausal and being on a really stressful schedule. This weekend I began having painful urination with a poor stream (dribbles, really) and put it all together. I'm now on Macrobid (nitrofurantoin) - which usually exhausts me. The fact that I feel so much better with *more energy* emphasizes to myself how sick I was.

When people say that infection response decreases with age, they mean it. Very weird experience.
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I have a very dingy living room. It faces north, with a big bay window. There's a fireplace that we've never used to the west (it needs a chimney sweep) and to the south is the wall to Jerome's room.

The floor used to have wall-to-wall carpeting, and now it's painted wood flooring with an unbound remnant over it. We have a cheap white-ish leather couch and a decrepit recliner.

On the plus side, it has lovely oak arts and crafts wood work and stained glass windows on either side of the fireplace.



East wall - couch is temporarily in front of fireplace.


north bay window


West wall.


Window detail

I need storage ideas, and a color palette. The pic of the window doesn't do the stained glass justice; it's emerald green, ruby red, and golden. I've been thinking of going with some type of honey color for the walls. I want to buy an inexpensive couch (the kids) and I dunno what to do for carpeting, but it's gotta be tough too.

I've been thinking of doing one of those cool in-the-stairs storage things, and putting in some shelving on the wall we've got to make for Jerome's room (right now there's just an entertainment center separating the two rooms.)
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I was talking to one of my coworkers about climate change. It was an idle conversation, nothing too deep. I'm always surprised, though, about how people conceptualize it -- in this case, a kind of shruggy "yeah, that's gonna be a problem" kind of way.

We just experienced a new low Arctic ice maximum -- 13.878 million km2. In comparison, the maximum in 1979 was over 16.5 million km2, a decrease of about 17%, or about 4% per year. I figure we've got about another 20 years or so before we have a winter ice-free arctic.

I'm pre' damn sure that most folks have no idea to the chaos that will bring. What it is, is people gotta eat.

I'm reading a paper right now entitled Earth's changing global atmospheric energy cycle in response to climate change." It is dry. I will sum up:

Ed Lorenz is the guy who came up with the idea of the Butterfly Effect. As cool as that is, more importantly, he came up with the equations that define the potential and kinetic energy in planet atmospheres. His atmospheric equations were also applied to the hydrological cycle, and to equations figuring out stuff like wind energy.

Anyway, we call the conversion of this atmospheric kinetic, potential, and mechanical energy, and how that energy effects atmospheric circulation (which effects weather and climate) the Lorenz energy cycle.

Though there's been lots of study replicating and validating Lorenz's equations, study of the long term, over-time characteristics of the energy cycle are lacking. In this paper, the authors found some nifty super-scientific NASA satellite records, and got them to pasted together with a computer program that lets them see the data as an uninterrupted set that runs from 1958-2013.

"More details of computing the energy components of the Lorenz energy cycle of the global atmosphere are provided in the sections on Methods." (as Madmartigen said, "Tempting!")

Lets instead go right to the discussion. What they say is that when you add energy to a planet, the atmosphere jiggs up like a high-schooler buzzzed on a six-pack of redbull. That is, the authors are able to show strong positive trends of potential energy over the Asian continent in the Northern Hemisphere.

"The positive trends of potential energy in Central Asia, especially in West-central Mongolia, are associated with the increasing droughts in these areas, because the increasing droughts can magnify the temperature perturbation and hence cause the increase in potential energy. The two data sets also show the relatively weak positive trends over the eastern Pacific Oceans. Such positive trends are related to the intensifying tropical cyclones with global warming."

But beyond that, what I was really fact mining for was this one sentence: "Therefore, the positive trends of C(PM,KM) are due to the expansion of the Hadley Cell in the past 35 years, which was revealed in some previous studies."

Expansion of the Hadley cell, dudes. Are you still with me? As the Hadley cell moves north, the sub-tropical dry zones move with it. Heat, too. Right into the worlds various bread baskets. And when it does rain? Vicious storms that will likely smash what crops that folk were able to grow.

It's what the models and guys like Jim Hansen have been saying for about a decade, but now we have more than models.
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This morning I woke from a violet dream where I ended up picking up my assailant by the face and killing him by beating the back of his head against the side jamb of the entrance door. So, one nightmare attacker down!

I think I need stress relief, and *yay*! My seeds came in today.

I'm trying a bunch of new plants. Here's a list:

First, spring greens: chervil, bronze goldring rommain lettuce, black seeded simpson lettuce, bekana greens, outstanding romaine, and emerald fan lettuce.

I also got a miniature (3'-4') sweet corn called Little Giant, 2 kinds of bean, grex, and pellegrini, a cabbage called primo and an early carrot called mini-sweet, two types of tomato, a grape and one called myona, and three kinds of melon -- crimson sweet watermelon, "ice cream," and eel river.

I also got sugar beets, to see what it's like to make sugar. It's a ton of work, but I want to see how much sugar we get per, say, ten beets. And a kind of rice called koshihikari, and a kind of sunflower that's good for oil.

And flowers! I got flowers for the bees and such -- I got all my seeds from Bountiful Gardens, but I linked to a couple of other good places.

We'll see how it all goes!
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So far work is going very well. This unit is a lot like working in hospice. The thing I'm noticing the most is how bored the patients are. I'll have to think on that a bit. Right now Imma gonna go fall down and maybe sleep for ten hours.
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So, I got fired from my jail nurse job on Thursday. It was a bit out of the blue but made sense; there had been complaints that I was too sympathetic to the inmates, and there'd been some friction between me and the other nurse at the clinic, who also happened to be my boss's mother. I didn't have any problem with her, but I'd said something that she took wrong, and it's stuck in her craw for weeks. And to be honest, I *did* give out unapproved motrin and milk of magnesia when the guys were in pain or, as is waaay common, constipated for days. So there.

I filed for unemployment and submitted six applications. Yesterday I got hired at a nursing home to work on their new ventilator unit making $6/hour more. Yes, two days later. That means that losing my job came to a net gain of about $12K/yr, minus the soul-eating -- for such things as not being allowed to give a motrin to a guy with a broken tooth and exposed nerves. (he can buy it off of commissary, and if he's indigent, well, that'll teach him to come to jail.)

Yesterday, after I got hired, I called my mom, who'll be 80 in a couple of weeks, and told her. She was a nurse from about 1960-2000, and she sniffed and said, "Too sympathetic. That's the best reason to be fired ever." She also cooed in appreciation when I told her that I was going to be trained for vents. "That you just secured your career for the rest of your life," she said.

So, whew, stress. For uncomfortable things and good things. My pediatrics unit starts on Monday with the med math test. Last time I got 100%, so I'm not too worried. But still, Ack, Test.

After the test, I go fill out paperwork at Human Resources and I start my training on Thursday.
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What with my stressful schedule and all, I haven't been on LJ or DW much at all. I've also not been spending much time reading over the arctic news -- I just know that it's all bad. And fascinating -- it's really amazing to watch, how something as big as the whole Earth system can change so quickly, in a lifetime.

From this entry at Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Blog


One of the scientists writes: "I'm expecting the peak in extent in the next week or so. What that will do for volume numbers I'm not so sure. I guess it depends on how fast the ice starts to drop.

Judging by the way 2017 is below the curve, I would say that it should peak in volume no later than mid April. Which will be another large departure from the norm." -- NeilT

So far, famine has been declared in South Sudan, where war and a collapsing economy have left some 100,000 people facing starvation there and a further one million people are classified as being on the brink of famine. More than 10 million people in Ethiopia need food aid due to the worst drought in more than 30 years, and neighboring Somalia where 4.7 million people (40 percent of the population) need food aid -- "war has joined forces with nature to plant the seeds of disaster." In Kenya, severe drought, failed harvests and Government’s poor preparedness are causing a food security emergency for 10 million, or about 1/5 of it's population.

In 2002, sometime before Mike went off to Iraq, I woke from a dream of flames, and a voice was saying, "It wasn't the change in climate. It was the wars that killed us."

I try to get it organized in my mind -- This is what the scientists were telling us, this is what was observed, this is what the politicians said, this is what my neighbors said, this is what I read in the newspapers.

passed

Mar. 1st, 2017 10:07 am
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I passed my test with a 92.42%, which gives me a likely 86.56% in the course. I got a 3.5. Huh.

Passed!

Feb. 15th, 2017 08:13 pm
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And with enough of a margin that I'm now passing the exam part of the course, but just barely. I've got a cumulative 81.15%; 81% is passing.

One more exam. I just have to pass it.
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"This weekend, conservative media outlets launched an attack on climate scientists with a manufactured scandal. The fake news originated from an accusation made by former NOAA scientist John Bates about a 2015 paper by some of his NOAA colleagues." -- The Guardian

How Bates’ complaints that boiled down to the fact that the paper didn’t have “a disclaimer at the bottom saying that it was citing research, not operational, data for its land-surface temperatures.” went from a whine about proceedure--

To “Exposed: How world leaders were duped into investing billions over manipulated global warming data.” From the Daily Mail.

The Guardian writes: "The story then spread through the international conservative media like a global warming-intensified wildfire - to Breitbart, Fox News, Drudge Report, Rush Limbaugh, The Daily Caller, The Washington Times, and more. Scott Johnson summed up the fake news story perfectly in an article at Ars Technica:

"At its core, though, it’s not much more substantial than claiming the Apollo 11 astronauts failed to file some paperwork and pretending this casts doubt on the veracity of the Moon landing."
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"A simplified way to think of extent versus area is to imagine a slice of swiss cheese. Extent would be a measure of the edges of the slice of cheese and all of the space inside it. Area would be the measure of where there is cheese only, not including the holes. That is why if you compare extent and area in the same time period, extent is always bigger." -- National Snow and Ice Data Center FAQ

Read more... )
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All went well, and overall life is good. Today in class, we had to do one of those getting-to-know-you thingys, and where it asked what my long-term goal was, I wrote: Save the world and make a living too.

Really, that's what it boils down to.

I think that the first half of the semester will be fine, and I think that the second half of the semester will be stressful -- because now we're doing Mental Health and that's my shtick, and next is pediatrics, where I have to memorize a bunch of stuff (vital signs for each age group, and the dreaded lab result ranges) and memorization is difficult with this swiss cheese brain of mine. We shall see; I'm very willful.

Schedule-wise, I'll be working at the jail clinic on Saturday, Sunday, and Mondays, and going to class on Tuesday and Wednesdays from 0900 to 1200, with odd simulation labs and Leadership Seminars on Thursdays, and a twelve hour clinical at the psych ward on Fridays.

I'm going to be spending Tues, Wed, and Thur at my grandson's school, from 1300-1600, helping in class and helping out after school with a homework club and maybe teaching some flute.

Anyway, so far, so good.
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One of the first things that I plan to do after getting the property is drilling the well. I always imagined that the well would come up from the basement, but that's actually against code. The well has to be set back at least 25'/8m from the home and 50'/15m from the septic system.

(Also, drainage fields can't be more than eight feet deep or so, because the weight of the soil above compresses the field too much. So no drains in the basement, unless I want to pump sewage up to the drainage field or engineer some kind of roof over the drainage field. Which I could do, and it would work, but be pre' expensive. Something to think about: how important would it be to have water/drain in basement? If we have to house a family there, it might be important.)

There's an article detailing different ways to drill a well, with links to diy kit for drilling your own well here and for a system to hand pump water from a deep well (otherwise, you need an electric pump)

All in all, it looks to cost about $2000 if we put in a 100'/30m well ourselves compared to $7000-$10,000 if we hire a company to do it. An advantage to doing it ourselves is having bought the experience and know-how of putting in a well. Of course, we could cock it up and waste our money.

One other thing to mention here is that we will also be separating our sewage into gray water and septic field waste, with gray water going out to the garden/orchards. I'm not sure how I want to do gray water harvest in the winter months. Cistern? How much water do we use, if we discount toilets? Hmm.
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I start the second half of nursing school in seven days. I'll be working at the jail clinic on Sat, Sun, and Mon, and going to class and clincals Tues-Fri. It'll be a trip.

This week's menues:

Today (Tues) -- Polish Sausage fried with potatoes, onions, and cabbage.

Wednesday -- Homemade chicken and dumplings with apple pie

Thursday -- Indian chickpeas with soslu, quinoa, and naan

Friday -- Beans and ham hocks with cornbread

Saturday -- Breakfast for supper

Sunday -- one-dish rice, hamburger, and veggies

Monday -- crock pot pork roast with potatoes and veggies

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