Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sea Turtles

Sea Turtles. This is an amazing story from the Los Angeles Times, about a colony of more than a dozen giant sea turtles that have found a home in the San Gabriel River, in the heart of Los Angeles, a few miles upstream from the port of Long Beach. The sea turtles, farther north than their tropical range, are attracted by the warm water discharge from a power plant. The poor water quality doesn't seem to disturb them. The giant sea turtles can weigh up to 500 pounds and live for as long as 100 years.

Maybe the turtles know something. Or maybe they just want to be in LA.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Gustav is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. I just emailed a friend in Floresville, in South Texas -- she lives on high ground and 150 miles inland -- safe from the highest winds, but likely to be drenched by heavy rains if it steers toward that part of Texas. But if if it heads toward Houston or New Orleans, Floresville and all the other inland communities will warmly welcome thousands of storm refugees.

Gustav might cause enormous property damage, depending on where it makes landfall. But the mass evacuations should minimize loss of life.

Up here, in the Skagit Valley, we have a lot of soggy wheat. Wheat is not the main crop, but the farmers doubled their acreage this year to take advantage of high global prices. They will still get this high price, but the unexpected August rains have made the harvest more difficult. If grain is harvested when its damp, the farmers have to put it through a dryer to get the moisture out, and that's an extra cost. But if the wheat is completely wet, as it is right now, the thresher will get all gummed up, and they just have to wait for some sunshine. I'm not smart enough to be a farmer, but I hear things.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin calls her husband the First Dude. She's exciting and interesting -- has that "naughty librarian" look. And fully qualified in my mind. If you can raise five children, you can chair a meeting of the Cabinet -- I'm not kidding.

She might confuse Bulgaria with South Ossetia -- but you can learn that stuff.

Anyway, I have heard on the Internet, that McCain and Palin are in Jackson, Mississippi, right now to lend a hand with the hurricane evacuation. Okay -- but if they do the slightest bit of grandstanding about the wonderful volunteer spirit of the Republican Party -- well, they just better watch what they say and do.

If you can't help, get out of the way.

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