Monday, March 31, 2014

Chi Chi Is Right

Chi Chi Rodriquez celebrates
making a putt.
Juan ("Chi Chi") Rodriquez, 78 years old and 30-time winner on the PGA and Champions tours, grew up dirt poor in Puerto Rico. He began working as an apprentice forecaddie at 7 making ten cents a day, and moved up to full caddie at age 9. That gives Chi Chi a big leg up on me. By the time I started finding and hawking golf balls, for a nickel, a dime or a quarter, through the chain link fence at the local muni, I was all of 8 years old, and I began caddying across the street at the country club when I was the advanced age of ten. The $3.50 fee for an 18 hole loop seemed a fortune by comparison.  

Most of the important things Chi Chi and I learned in life we didn't learn in school. In Chi Chi's case, that was guaranteed, because he was a high school dropout. I my case, I leveraged my caddie years to go on and get a couple of fancy degrees at fancy universities, and later completed business programs at three prestigious schools, but those experiences were nothing compared to working nine years as a caddie, laboring as a janitor and a dishwasher, toiling in cardboard box and plastic factories, and manufacturing culverts -- all before I finished college.

Here is what Chi Chi says:
Negativism is the sister of failure. I you're negative, you fail. America has become a negative country. It's because our leaders our lawyers. The leaders should be business people. Lawyers are necessary for different things, of course, but they go to school to learn how to win arguments. America is divided now, probably more than it has been since I first came on tour. GolfWorld, March 31, 2014.

Rodriquez is right and kinder than Shakespeare.

It starts right at the top with the SOB Washington lawyer ensconced in the White House. I would know for I spent more than three decades in the vicinity, wrapped in knots at one time or another to the hilt in substantive, regulatory and political battles with DOL, DOE, OSHA, CBO, OMB, GAO, OPM, FCC, PRC, among others, and continuously beckoned to heed the arbitrary call of the Hill and the White House. 

The fellow at the top is not unique. There are literally tens of thousands of Washington lawyers like the manipulative, lying jerk in the White House. If you are at all wise, you wouldn't want any one of them leading you to an outhouse, much less to our country's destiny. We have become a failing country. Good luck to all.

Opening Day

In a little less than three hours the Chicago Cubs open their season against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Which gives me about two and one-half hours where I can be optimistic and be a Cub fan.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Saturday Pictures on Sunday

Saturday Pictures on Sunday
March 28, 2014
(click to enlarge)

We traveled along Madison Rd. from
Norris Rd., MT 84, up to I-90 accessing
Madison River at multiple points.
Actually, I shot these photos on Friday.  

We were tired of the snow, so I went down the valley where the temperatures are (relatively) warmer and the precipitation (relatively) less, where the snow cover is almost entirely gone.  I decided to explore a section of the Madison River, beyond the sign on Madison Road ("Pavement Ends") that would turn most urban dwellers back.

The Madison is reputed as perhaps the best fly fishing stream in an area that is renown for its fly fishing. Just above the stretch I explored, the Madison joins with the Jefferson and Gallitan Rivers, at the aptly named Three Forks, to form the headwaters of the Missouri River. The Madison begins in Yellowstone National Park where the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers join at the aptly named Madison junction. About a hundred miles upstream, the Madison forms Quake Lake, where the river was impounded by the debris of a massive earthquake induced 80 million ton rock slide on August 17, 1959.

The white cliffs reflect the under burden's heavy limestone and gypsum content which, at various times, has supported large cement mining and manufacturing operations in the area. 

Here are Friday's photos! Don't forget to click to enlarge.

Hence the state motto.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Saturday Pictures

Saturday Pictures
March 29, 2014
(Click to enlarge)

It's been springing here, off and on, all week.  I mean, wait, that other "s" word, snow. Enjoy spring views -- Montana style.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Frozen -- Not the Movie, the Great Lakes

April is four days away, but the Great Lakes are still more than 70 percent frozen.

The Great Lakes coverage is the highest for this time of year in the satellite tracking era, by a long shot -- more than half again as much as the second most. It's 400 percent of normal.

In Washington DC, the latest honest (i.e., not produced by the government) forecast is the peak cherry blossom bloom will be April 13, which is three days after the two-week long Cherry Blossom Festival ends.

We are also checking in, from time to time, on the status of Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin.  The lake froze over December 15 this winter, 5 days earlier than the long term (160 year) median freeze date, and was reported in February to be double (20 inches) the normal (10 inch) thickness. Most of March was frigid. 
Lake Mendota ice depth chart.  The ice appears to have peaked around three feet in late February and was still close to  two feet in late March.  Ice fishing continued through 3/28 at least . It should be well into April before the lake is clear.
Unless the ice is taken out by heavy rains, I expect Lake Mendota will experience the longest period of ice cover in decades, and possibly in more than a century.  Time will tell.

The Ukraine

Russia masses 100,000 troops at the Ukranian border.  U.S. government channels the panhandler at the 19th Street I-90 exit. Precious.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Be Careful of What You Wish For

Northwestern University football players got a little too smart for themselves yesterday when they won their bid to unionize under the terms of the National Labor Relations Act.

Northwestern University football players on scholarship are employees of the school and therefore entitled to hold an election to decide whether to unionize, an official of the National Labor Relations Board ruled Wednesday.
The stunning decision, coming after a push by former quarterback Kain Colter backed by organized labor, has the potential to shake up the world of big-time sports.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association and universities set the rules and cut the lucrative deals with TV and sponsors, exerting near total control over the activities of players known as "student athletes." But now those football players, at least at Northwestern, are employees too and may seek collective bargaining status, according to the 24-page ruling by Peter Sung Ohr, the regional director of the NLRB.
I can't wait for the students who are behind this, now that they have received their wish to be declared employees, to pay back taxes on their scholarship, in-kind income. Over four years, that would be something like $50K for a student at a private, mid-five figure tuition university like Northwestern. Good luck varsity athletes, figuring out how to finance that without going into debt while you are in college.

If there are issues or problems the athletes wanted the university to address there is nothing, other than an absence of courage and conviction, that would stop the students from acting collectively without the backing of federal government bureaucrats. Good faith, self help is a proven method.

In the us versus them institution of federalized unionism, you can pretty much expect the beneficence of Northwestern athletic department donors will fade away. 

If the NLRB decision is upheld, and student athletes at Northwestern and other scholarship granting sports programs decide to unionize, they will find their interactions with coaches and the university will be governed by union bosses not of their own choosing. 

This will not end well. Be careful of what you wish for. 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Blog I Would Like to Write

Sometimes I think about writing a blog that focuses more on policy issues, such as putting tight and responsible reins on fiscal and monetary policy, limiting government to its essential purposes, promoting fair and growth oriented tax policies, managing and demanding efficient provision of government services, freeing the economy from the crippling weight of unpredictable, confusing, overlapping, burdensome and excessively intrusive regulatory regimes, constraining the police state and ending the militirization of police, putting an end to crony capitalism and the pernicious partnerships that have arise in recent years among the government and the nonprofit and union sectors, reforming entitlements, aligning defense planning and expenditures strategically, stopping centralized government control and management of the economy, and taking on and breaking down virtually all concentrations of power, whether in government, finance, business or elsewhere. All the problems in these areas are getting bigger with each passing day.

But others do much of this writing incredibly well. I pipe up from time to time when I believe I have an unique experience or can offer a fresh perspective. Or sometimes I opine a bit ahead of the game. One of my best such experience-based posts is one I wrote about lobbyists (It's That Fella Across the Street) which highlighted my personal experience living inside the Beltway, where it seems there is a lobbyist at every corner, or at least across the street. I once lived across the street from the chief lobbyist for Fannie Mae (a Republican who freely acknowledged that is what he did), and, another time, lived across the street from the chief lobbyist for the Obamacare website contractor (a Democrat who denied he was a lobbyist -- ethics have careened downhill in the era of Obama). Washington, DC is run by lobbyists and the special interests they represent, much much more than most of you will allow yourselves to understand.  

Listed at the bottom of my blog is one of my favorite blogs, the "Growls" -- authored by a gentleman by the name of Tim Wise, who is pretty much a one man show, challenging fiscal excess, insider dealing and regulatory overreach in my former residence of Arlington, Virginia. He operates under the aegis of the Arlington County Taxpayers' Association (ACTA).
Arlington is across the Potomac River from DC. It is top five among counties nationwide in household incomes, and is awash in the federal government spending bubble. Seldom has so much self importance, and such an incredibly high sense of entitlement, been concentrated in a single place.

Arlington's residents include federal contractors and consultants, high level federal employees (grade inflation is rampant in the DC metro area), lobbyists and lawyers who all feed, in one way or another, at the federal trough. Commercial real estate is huge in Arlington, with the primary tenants being various federal government agencies and bureaus, and contract operations serving the same. Rather than build to own, the federal tenants primarily lease properties that are built to suit their needs. Arlington has become a monument to rampant corporate cronyism. 

The crony capitalist landlords (primarily large REITs, like Vornado, Simon and Federal Realty Trust) and the local property tax man love these arrangements.  Federal tenants pay top rents; they are not low cost solution seekers. Commercial buildings use little in the way of municipal services, and attract jobs that relieve social service 

Vornado/Charles E. Smith realty is the largest
commercial real estate operation in the DC
metropolitan area.  By market cap Vornado
is the third largest publicly traded US REIT. It
has $3.7 billion invested in Arlington, alone.

Federally occupied real estate is a cash cow that feeds rental income to the crony capitalists and property tax revenues and fees into the pockets of the liberal elites in Arlington County government. The elites praise themselves for their economic development prowess, when they are doing nothing more than feasting on federal largess -- largess that is being financed by sending our children and grandchildren into debilitating debt.

At the same time, there is not a federal funded grant program or project that escapes Arlington's notice -- its federally employed citizens make sure of that. There is no more aggressive, knowledgeable and successful seeker of federal funds than Arlington County, Virginia. Last year we blogged on the million dollar bus stops. DC metropolitan area governments are sucking the federal treasury dry in more ways than you can count.

Many of the the Growls posts capture the local flavor of spending without limit.  Other are more oriented to the national picture.

One of the Growls most recent posts links to a local newspaper editorial that concludes as follows:
We live with the delusion that the government serves the public, not the other way around. But taxpayers just never seem to be the top priority when there’s extra money on hand.
Earlier this week, The Growls quoted from "A Thought on the Morality of Progressive Economics" published in The American Spectator.
"Far too many Americans behave as if government spending is “free money,” as if there is a free lunch if it’s paid for by Uncle Sam. But few things are more effective arguments with younger and slightly liberal voters than “You and your kids are going to pay for all this. They are bankrupting your future, and your children’s future. Isn’t that wrong no matter how they try to justify it?” 
"Again, this isn’t a technical point; it’s a moral one: It is simply wrong to burden our children and their children with opportunity-destroying debt incurred in pursuit of buying votes, or even of buying “equality” or “free” birth control. 
"If your parents created debt that was somehow passed down to you, even if it originated with a good intention of theirs (but not one to benefit your family), how would you feel about it, especially when paying off the debt meant you couldn’t buy a house or couldn’t put your own children through college? 
"It’s not just unfair or rude; it’s wrong. And it is exactly what every “liberal” economic policy is doing to YOUR future and your children’s future. 
"THIS is the argument that Republicans and conservatives fail to make in a convincing and repeated way. (Repetition is as important as the argument itself because people almost never take to heart a message they hear only a few times.)" (Emphases in the original)
~ Ross Kaminsky
A few days earlier the Growls wrote on the erosion of the United States Constitution, this time quoting from The National Review.
"The administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt dealt our Constitution a grave blow. When the Supreme Court rubber-stamped the New Deal, the framework of limited and enumerated federal powers — which shaped the very structure of our Constitution — was swept away. Federal power over every aspect of our lives has been expanding ever since, with no end in sight.  
"Conservatives understand that much. What they don’t yet understand iswhy this happened. That’s a problem. After all, how much good can a doctor do if he doesn’t understand what’s making the patient sick? In recent years, luminaries of constitutional history such as Richard A. Epstein and Michael Greve have made important strides in helping us understand how the progressive movement of the last hundred years has ravaged our Constitution. Some of their insights are startling.  
"The great internal danger to the democratic form of government is its vulnerability to capture by political elites. James Madison called them “factions”; today we call them “special interests.” The Constitution was designed to protect against them, chiefly by limiting the federal government’s power and guaranteeing strong property rights and freedom of exchange.  
"The Bill of Rights contains important protections. But the greatest protections the Constitution provides are the structural limitations it places on federal power. In key areas, those limitations have eroded, leading to the very expansion of federal power that opponents of the original Constitution warned about during the ratification debates."
~ Mario Loyola, Senior Fellow, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Growls finds and shares the trenchant quotes and passages from throughout the literature. Tim Wise says what needs to be said and present the messages better than I ever can or will. Check in with the Growls and you will be informed and enlightened.  Ignore the Growls and like-minded sources and you will never rise above being one of the sheeple. Check it out. The man actually researches and uses data from  time to time.

Arlington County Virginia, 2013 Annual Financial Report (note the doubling of assessed values during a time period when other markets have been relatively flat)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Can't Find the Plane Boss -- Global Warming

Move to Montana, Great Home for Wheelchair Mobility

330 Dulohery, Street View, Google Maps
For sale in Bozeman -- a unique and fantastic 4,100 square foot home, on two thirds of an an acre, in our adjacent Franklin Hills neighborhood. This 1998 built home is custom designed to the max for wheel chair accessibility and mobility. 

We are located about a mile east across the wheat fields from Bozeman Deaconess hospital, just outside of town. This would be an outstanding home for a retired couple, one or both of whom are wheel chair bound, or a disabled veteran. 

Indoor Greenhouse
The Dulohery home's main level has an indoor greenhouse (water spigot and tiled floor with drain), a spacious wheelchair accessible laundry room, a spacious wheel-around kitchen, with large eat-in dining area, an open living room with gas fireplace, a gigantic walk-in pantry, on-grade access to the three car garage, including a bay with extra high clearance for a handicapped transport van.   

The main level has radiant floor heat (plus central air), a double bedroom master, with wheelchair accessible shower, and spacious his and hers walk-in closets.    
Lower Level Kitchen

The lower level has radiant baseboard heat (separately metered), a caretaker/in-law apartment with bath, kitchen and separate walk-in entry, with a dedicated driveway.

In addition to the full service hospital, there are a half dozen nearby medical buildings offering a full range of medical services.

Main Street Bozeman, with its full range of shops, restaurants, and amenties is two miles distant.  From personal experience, swimming with wheel chair bound individuals daily, I can attest that Bozeman Swim Center and its pool are fully handicapped accessible.  This is a great house in a fantastic place to live.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Teeing Off on Saturday

Since perpetual winter is delaying opening the links we practiced teeing off on Facebook this morning.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sometimes You Don't Have to Watch COPS

Because it happens in your own backyard.  Paging through the Bozeman Daily Chronicle last summer, I ran across this item. 


A 27-year-old Bozeman man was charged Friday night with felony criminal endangerment and several misdemeanors.

According to court documents:

Ty Howard Dietzler ran over a mailbox, nearly ran over several pedestrians, blew through several stop signs, led police on a high-speed chase and fled from police as they tried to handcuff him.
Dietzler nearly ran over several pedestrians in the crosswalk at North 27th Avenue and West Oak Street around 8:45 p.m., a witness who was following him told police.
People in the road “were forced to jump and run from the intersection to avoid being struck,” the court document states.
The chase on the northwest side of Bozeman reached speeds of nearly 100 mph.
When officers stopped Dietzler at the intersection of Baxter and Jackrabbit lanes, he initially got out of his car, but ran off into a gravel pit.
“After a short foot pursuit, Dietzler stopped and said he was tired and done running,” the court document states.
In addition to felony criminal endangerment, Dietzler was charged with fleeing and eluding police officers, three counts of failing to stop for stop signs, obstructing police and driving without insurance, all misdemeanors.
Dietzler was released Monday on $10,000 bail.
We had met Ty a year previous when we moved into town. After doing the touring rock band thing, and living for a few years in Nashville, he had just returned to his native Montana. Ty taught our girls guitar. He took the summer off and had promised to give us a call in the fall.
Not surprisingly, when fall came, Ty had disappeared off the radar screen. 
Then, in December, Teresa ran into Ty at a local coffee shop.  "Ty," she said "What is this about assault on a mail box?" "Dude," I said, "Orange is not your color."  "Are you available for lessons after the 1st of the year?" Teresa asked.  "Sure," Ty said, and we made arrangements.
Ty is sober and chastened. The lesson train departed the station, and we are whispering sweet nothings into the pre-trial release officer's ear.
So it goes.

Note 12.11.14: Earlier this fall the wife and one of the kids went in support to the sentencing hearing where Ty pleaded guilty to one of the charges. He is serving out his probation, has worked off his community service many times over, is paying restitution, is teaching all four young ones in our household and picking up recording gigs. We are seeing a lot of growth, great maturity and level headedness. He has finagled a deal where he watches a building in return for a free room. Way to go Ty! Good things are coming down the pike.

Note 3.23.15: Ty has complied with every condition (some multiple times) of his probation without a stutter step or a flaw. He has secured the requisite signatures certifying the same and submitted the paperwork to the bureaucracy for processing. Soon his record will be cleansed of the conviction and he will have a clean slate to go along with his clean lifestyle, going forward. Way to go Ty!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Employment Dropping

In the day when I kept an economic release date calendar on my desk and would pore over the employment reports within minutes of their 8:30 am release, I would have noticed this a month or two back. As is, thanks to Edward Lazear of Stanford University and the Hoover Institute for adding up the numbers and publishing the analysis. 

Most commentators viewed the February jobs report released on March 7 as good news, indicating that the labor market is on a favorable growth path. A more careful reading shows that employment actually fell—as it has in four out of the past six months and in more than one-third of the months during the past two years. 
Job creation rose from an initial 113,000 in January (later revised to 129,000) to 175,000 in February. The January number frightened many, while the February number was cheered—even though it was below the prior 12-month average of 189,000.Although it is often overlooked, a key statistic for understanding the labor market is the length of the average workweek. Small changes in the average workweek imply large changes in total hours worked. The average workweek in the U.S. has fallen to 34.2 hours in February from 34.5 hours in September 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That decline, coupled with mediocre job creation, implies that the total hours of employment have decreased over the period. 
Here's a full explanation. The job-equivalence number is computed simply by taking the total decline in hours and dividing by the average workweek. For example, if the average worker was employed for 34.4 hours and total hours worked declined by 344 hours, the 344 hours would be the equivalent of losing 10 workers' worth of labor. Thus, although the U.S. economy added about 900,000 jobs since September, the shortened workweek is equivalent to losing about one million jobs during this same period. The difference between the loss of the equivalent of one million jobs and the gain of 900,000 new jobs yields a net effect of the equivalent of 100,000 lost jobs.

The improvement in average weekly hours worked was reason for celebration after the recovery began. The recent decline is cause for concern. It gives us a more accurate but dismal picture of the past two quarters.
Straight from the Department of Labor here is the graph that illustrates both the tail end of the economic recovery and the recent concerning decline.

See to review the data yourself.
And so it goes.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Climate Change Loonies Are at it Again

They call themselves the National Wildlife Federation. We can pretty much tell what kind of wildlife they like best, because their global warming propaganda is batshit crazy. Here is their latest core dump.

Mascot Madness: How Climate Change Threatens School Spirit

Urgent Action Needed to Protect Real-Life Species Behind Iconic College Mascots

03-11-2014 // Miles Grant
Mascot Report
With the annual NCAA college basketball tournaments set to begin, a new National Wildlife Federation report details how the climate crisis is hurting the real-life species that are mascots for many of America’s college athletic programs. Climate change is the most serious environmental threat today to many animals and plants and urgent action is needed at all levels, according to Mascot Madness: How Climate Change is Hurting School Spirit.
We have a new version of ‘March Madness’: Extreme weather fueled by climate change, deeper droughts, and intensifying wildfires," said Dr. Doug Inkley, senior scientist with the National Wildlife Federation and lead author of Mascot Madness. “From wolverines to gators, species that have spent countless centuries adapting a home court advantage are now watching the rules of the game changed before their eyes by industrial carbon pollution. If we’re going to turn climate change into a Cinderella story, we need to act now."
Mascot Madness looks at the best available science on how climate change is impacting many of America’s best-known mascots, from familiar species like bears and bison to exotic cats like lions and tigers. Warmer temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and rising sea levels are altering habitat in ways that can affect animals’ diet, range and behavior:
  • Wolverines (University of Michigan) rely on deep snowpack for building dens to raise their young and may be declared a threatened species as the climate continues to warm.
  • Terrapins (Universtiy of Maryland) and Alligators (University of Florida) face reproductive threats. When alligators overheat, more eggs hatch as males. In contrast, terrapins produce more females in hotter temperatures. Imbalances in sex ratios like these can be a threat to sustaining healthy populations.
  • The entire range of the critically-endangered red wolf, a real-life inspiration for the North Carolina State Wolfpack, is found at only three feet elevation or less, making them extremely vulnerable to rising sea levels and hurricanes.
  • Buckeyes (Ohio State) are threatened by stronger storms, deeper droughts, and more intense heat waves fueled by climate change and are being pushed to migrate north—into rival territory in Michigan.
The National Wildlife Federation’s Mascot Madness report is a creative tool for getting past the noise and engaging people about the real-life impacts of climate change. There is no questioning how serious the numbers are on rising sea levels and global temperatures," said Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD). "But it is also important to take that to the next level by conveying the public health impacts and the tragic loss of biodiversity that is an undeniable result of a changing climate. Climate change is a reality, and instead of fighting over facts, we need to work together to take action."

As for the so-called facts?

Wolverines and Snowpacks. Michigan is dotted with deep and long lasting snowpacks and has experienced record and near record snowfalls that even the fiercest wolverine would find luxuriant. According to the WOOD TV weather blog in Grand Rapids, Michigan:
Grand Rapids has now gone 98 days with an inch or more of snow on the ground (6th place – 117 is the record).  The airport officially still has 7″ of snow on the ground.  We’d have to go to April 5 to set a record.  Lansing is also at 98 days and should break the record of 101 days set in 1962-63.  Muskegon has set a record for the longest period with a foot or more of snow on the ground at 58 days (old record 57 days in 1979).  Muskegon has 14″ of snow on the ground officially and is at 100 days with an inch or more of snow on the ground (currently 7th longest stretch).  Muskegon has to go to April 4 to set a record.   Grand Rapids is now at 96 consecutive days with 4″ or more of snow on the ground and I think that’s a record.   G.R. did set a record for the most number of days with 20″ or more on the ground at 16 days in February.  The least snow on the ground in February was 17”.  We went 51 days (from 1/24 thru 3/15) with 8” or more of snow on the ground.
The Michigan news, sport and weather MLive website reports,

Detroit and Flint are very close to setting all-time records for total snow in a winter. 
The season snowfall record in Detroit is 93.6 inches way back in 1880-1881. So far Detroit has recorded 90.7 inches of snow, meaning three inches of snow is needed for a new record. Since it is going to be generally colder than normal for the next few weeks at least, I think three inches of snow from here on out is very doable. In fact, average snowfall in Detroit now through April would be 5.2 inches.
The record snowfall in Flint is 82.9 inches back in 1974-1975. Currently Flint has had 81.8 inches of snow this winter. So Flint only needs another 1.2 inches of snow to set a record. That should be pretty easy to do. That should happen by sometime next week. 
Grand Rapids has had its second snowiest winter, but still needs 19.5 inches more snow to set a new record. It will take an awfully snowy pattern to get that amount of snow in Grand Rapids. I doubt that record will fall. 
We've had snow on the ground for a long time, and that provides another type of snowfall record. Flint has had at least one inch of snow on the ground for 95 days straight now, which is by far a new record and increasing every day. That record will probably continue to build for at least another 10 days. Tomorrow Detroit will set its record for most days in a row with at least one inch of snow on the ground.
On the upper peninsula in Michigan here are recent year snowfall totals at Michigan Tech in Houghton -- where residents on the shore of Lake Superior are well on their way to another 200 plus inch year.

2010-Current Snowfall

WinterOctNovDecJanFebMarAprMayTotal Inches

Compare the totals from the last decade of the 19th century when the Wolverine were no doubt more numerous than today.

1890-1899 Snowfall

WinterOct.Nov.Dec.Jan.Feb.Mar.Apr.MayTotal Inches
In that era of less atmospheric carbon dioxide, there was nary a 200 inch snowfall to be found and the average snowfall was about a third less.

Alligators and Reproductive Threats. Alligators threatened? Think about it.  Alligators, which can't live in cold weather climates are threatened by supposedly warming climates. Please. How incredibly absurd!

As for alligator populations, National Geographic reports.
The American alligator is a rare success story of an endangered animal not only saved from extinction but now thriving. State and federal protections, habitat preservation efforts, and reduced demand for alligator products have improved the species' wild population to more than one million and growing today.
The hunting party of Beth Trammell of Madison, Miss.,
 caught an alligator on Sept 1, 2013 in Issaquena County. It was
13 feet 5.5 inches (14.1 meters) long and weighed
723.5 pounds (328 kilograms). Photograph by Ricky Flynt/Mississippi
 Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks Dept.

Female alligators average producing 35 eggs per nesting season, which helps to explain the rapid rebound in building sustainable, harvested and managed populations. Just last fall there were record setting alligator catches in Mississippi.

Two record-setting heavyweight alligators were killed by hunters in Mississippi this weekend, just three days into the start of the official gator hunting season. 
One animal, a male, was 13-feet and 6.5-inches (4.13 meters) long and weighed 727 pounds (330 kilograms).
“When we finally got an arrow in him, it took us another two hours to get him up close to the boat,” Dustin Bockman, one of the hunters, told the Associated Press.
“He broke all the lines we could get in him. Finally we got a snare on him and pulled him up high enough and got a shot on him. All in all, it probably took us four-and-a-half hours to actually catch him from the first time we saw him.” 
The other gator, caught by hunter Beth Trammell, was also a male and measured 13-feet and 5.5-inches (4.1-meters) long and weighed 723.5 pounds (328 kilograms). (See “Giant Crocodile Breaks Size Record.”) 
Both alligators broke the previous weight record of 697.5 pounds (316 kilograms).
Alligators live up to 50 or 60 years. A single alligator can produce a thousand offspring. Imagine if a few of those turn out to be guys instead of gals -- horror of horrors. Life as we know it is in the balance.

Diamondback Terrapin. The University of Maryland diamondback terrapin population precipitously declined over the years, due not to warming trends but over harvesting. People liked eating them too much. The diamondback population is now protected, has stabilized, and is coming back. Their biggest threat is crossing the road.

North Carolina State Wolfpack.  The dorky scientists at National Wildlife Federation cannot seem to even get the origin of the team's mascot correct.

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The “Wolfpack” was first mentioned in association with NC State athletics in 1921, when an anonymous letter-writer to the school newspaper suggested that some of the school’s football players were as “unruly as a pack of wolves.” That season, North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts became a charter member of the Southern Conference, and newspapers began referring to the team as “the Wolfpack.” After a season-opening 21-0 victory over Randolph-Macon, The News and Observer of Raleigh reported that the team was “living up to its newly acquired nickname.”

North Carolina State's live mascot is in fact a dog -- not a wolf at all. Even so, since shorelines constantly shift, the thought that shore dwelling fauna could not adapt to future shifts, whatever the cause, is positively, absolutely and totally ridiculous.

Buckeye Trees Moving North into Michigan.  Poor Ohio State University, losing its beloved buckeye trees moving north in search of more temperate weather. Whoops! They had better rethink that move.

Here in Bozeman, the National Wildlife Federation is producing a master plan for the entire Yellowstone eco-system.  I have a friend, an Ohio State alum, whose yard is flourishing with Buckeye trees. If anyone hasn't notice, the climate here in Montanta is just a tad bit colder than in Ohio. On the other end, the natural range of the tree extends down into Texas, near scorching hot locales like Austin and San Antonio.

The native range of the Ohio Buckeye.
The thought that the Buckeye tree range is being driven from Ohio by changes in temperature is absurd on its face.

God help us all.