Saturday, June 21, 2014

Maine wildlife still wild

Piping Plover chicks at Old Orchard Beach - click to enlarge
Photo: Shawn Patrick Ouellette Portland Press Herald
  Piping Plovers used to run Southern Maine beaches by the thousands when I was a boy.  The population dwindled to a few hundred before the nests were better protected.
  Last year a dog running loose (under voice command, allegedly) killed two chicks and destroyed a nest in Scarborough and the lawsuits and proposals started flying.  The dogs are no longer allowed off leash on a beach and the protections are working.  This year Maine has 50 nesting pairs and the chicks are given a chance to grow, like the two in the photo.
Wildlife Biologist Randy Cross with Big John - click
Photo: John Wood Maine Dept. of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  The bear has been studied for nine years after he was fist tagged - not every year through he's wild and roams around the woods in Washington County.  He now weighs over 430 pounds, that a pretty bit old critter.  Those beehives and blueberries up there must be treating him well.  I'm hoping the hunters don't find him.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Fun with farm equipment

It's an ending, or end up
Photo: Joshua Tujillo
  It looks like some used farm equipment has an after life.  Combine racing is an up and coming sport, well it is for a few.
  Old combines given new names, and the sponsors names painted on too.  Drag racing, distance racing around the oval, all different ways to pass the time.
Get ready, set, ....
Photo: Joshua Tujillo,

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Customer made an error @ customer service.

I am guilty - click to enlarge
Illustration: Nick Galifiankakis
  Well, well, well.  Here's "the rest of the story".  Yesterday I tried to send a text message and it was denied because there was no money in my telephone account.
   There had NOT been a payment made, we (me and the telephone company man) were wrong; no payment had been processed.
   I went on line to the company and attempted to "manually" make a payment, no good.
   Here's the answer.  The bank has recently replaced my debit card with a new one that's more secure.  The new card has a new expiration date and security code (those 3 numbers on the back).
Once I set up payments with the new information all was almost right with the world.  I still made a manual payment, but the phone company processed the payment too.  I'm all paid up until August!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Customer Service call at Customer Service

Ted Goff cartoon
   On Monday I received a message on my cell phone.  The automatic payment had failed.  It failed because on Sunday, the 15th was the due date, my bank was up grading it's computer system.  The phone company did not try again later.  I guessed they "didn't try later" because they have about 13 million accounts (a guess).
  The message said to call *611, and I did.  Because I'm deaf whatever I was told at *611 didn't make sense.  It may not have made sense if I could hear well either.  So...on Tuesday, yesterday, I went to the local office of that cell phone provider for help.  The Customer Service guy said he'd call the big Customer Service office located who knows where - it's a large national company.  He couldn't get through.  He asked a co-worker if they had a special number for Customer Service, the man replied "no, this will be your longest day, ever".
  While he was waiting for someone, anyone, to answer my phone got another message that the account was paid!  They did try again two days after the first attempt.  I thanked the man and shook his hand.
Randy Glasbergen cartoon

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Wal-Mart and the minimum wage

There is a story here - click to enlarge
Source: Oxfam America
  Why doesn't Wal-Mart support an increase in the minimum wage to the suggested $10.10?  Somebody at Wal-Mart knows, but isn't talking.  The raise would cost Wal-Mart two billion dollars, that a huge amount.  On the other hand if those workers spent the increase at the work place as many of them already do Wal-Mart would earn an additional $13B in sales!  So why is this not happening.
  When you read about an increase in minimum wages, there's a million reasons pro and con.  Would there be a loss of jobs?  Yes, but only in a few areas where more people earn minimum than not.
  On the map here please not that Bentonville, Arkansas is in western Arkansas where there is a high percentage of people who earn minimum.
  Just a thought.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Fathers Day, Red Sox and a cast of thousands

  I enjoyed Fathers Day, Hollie called promptly at 8:00AM as I kind of expected, although I spend Saturday morning with her because it was a "special occasion".  We went for a short ride to look at two fields of lupine, always a treat.  And I got my favorite pizza at the Levant Corner Store (AAAA).  Jon called on his way home from work, he's a little bit tired but he'll recover nicely, he's a good man.
  The Red Sox lost in 11 innings, and there's a story there.  Everyone wants to be a "hero" and hit a home run to win the game!  Let me explain:  everyone is not capable of hitting a home run!  It's that simple.  David Ortiz can hit a home run, but even he tried too hard.  He would swing at a snake crossing home plate, he's get too anxious!  And he fails, he fails to hit the ball or the snake.  The whole team quit because not everybody can hit a damned home run.
  The cast of thousand were the spectators at the U S Open at Pinehurst, North Carolina.  The winner a young man from Germany was hounded by idiots yelling "USA, USA".  Why?  Just because they're idiots!  Plain and simple.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Things to think about

Economic growth by State - click to enlarge
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis
non-Christian religions by County - click to enlarge
Source: Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies
If I compare the two maps I find that there may by some correlation between the two.  Sometimes.
Other times they are just two completely different things.  But, in more diverse areas the GDP improvement is positive.  Think about it.  Write me, in the comment section below.