April 6, 2010

At the Early Spring Café...

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... I'm enjoying this transitional phase. After a week in glaring sunlight and dry, thin air, I love the filtered light and moisture of Wisconsin. It's very mellow here. Hang out and talk to me.

33 comments:

New "Hussein" Ham said...

Just wanted to thank you for the debate you had with somefeller the other day.

I like it when you enter the comment section to engage your audience.

Most bloggers (for some strange reason) don't want to do that. It's refreshing that you have a site where you will put forth your opinion and then defend it.

(I take you to task often, but wanted you to know how brave I thought your thread was on the racial epitaph hoax).

Cheers!

David said...

This still up on the front page of Massey Energy's web site:

2009 WAS ANOTHER RECORD
SETTING YEAR FOR SAFETY

In 2009, Massey recorded an all-time best NFDL incident rate (a measure of lost-time accidents) of 1.67. This is an improvement over last year's rate of 1.93, our previous best result. By comparison, the bituminous coal mining industry average NFDL rate was 2.95 in 2008. 2009 marked the 6th consecutive year and the 17th year out of the past 20 years in which Massey's safety performance was stronger than the industry average.

David said...

Underground coal mining is a dangerous business. But it's hard to understand why we can't get past this kind of disaster with the technology that must be available to detect explosion risk.

Treacle said...

what's the latest on the ipad, ann. is it any more useful now?

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"But it's hard to understand why we can't get past this kind of disaster with the technology that must be available to detect explosion risk."

Any form of work carries with it risks. Energy production of any kind is inherently more dangerous.

Nevertheless there have been, in fact, impressive improvements in technology that has significantly eliminated much of the danger of mining coal (as compared to mining any other substance).

US Department of Labor: "... the rate of coal mining deaths decreased from about .20 fatalities per 200,000 hours worked by miners (or one death per million production hours) in 1970 to about .07 fatalities in 1977 and an average of .03 fatalities for the 2001-2005 period.

"The metal and nonmetal mining death rate per 200,000 employee hours averaged .02 for the 2001-2005 period, compared to average yearly rates about seven times higher in the 1930s and three times as high in the 1950s.

"The year 2004 was the safest year in modern mining history, with a total of 55 coal and metal and nonmetal mining fatalities. There was an all-time low of 23 coal mining fatalities in 2005, compared to the previous all-time coal industry low of 28 in 2002. During a period in 1992, from May 27 to July 14, the coal mining industry did not experience any fatal accidents while producing many million tons of coal--a period of rare length in mining history. There were 33 coal fatalities in 2007."

So, keep a watch out for what's coming next: much gnashing of teeth by the usual liberal suspects about how coal is wrong and we shouldn't be mining it.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"... what's the latest on the ipad, Ann."

Also, which ipon do you recommend.

My iperiod is approaching.

Scott said...

"Hang out and talk to me."

Not, "Hang out and talk with me."

It's like poking your finger in the canary cage to see if you get them to start chirping.

It's talk with out communication.

Blogger seeds talk thread, provoking commenters to talk.

It's like playing a video game. Take on persona, go to scenario, interact with good guys, shoot bad guys until someone shoots you, or until your leftover spaghetti finishes heating in the microwave. Then move on to the next level, or do something else.

There is something not real about it. But it is totally engaging for awhile. It's a game for the the parts of your brain that don't normally get to play games.

It is mutually narcissistic in that people are judged by their entertainment value. You can say all sorts of snarky stuff, horrific crap, without any awareness of who you're hurting.

We talk at each other, not with each other. We can't embrace. It's like sex without love.

Welcome to the internet.

edutcher said...

Your line about Colorado reminds me of the line from Mark Twain about climate in Nevada, "We have summer all winter and winter all summer, but the climate is good, what there is of it".

I agree on the gradual change in light and moisture. It's easier that way.

Scott said...

"Hang out and talk to me."

Not, "Hang out and talk with me."

...

It's talk without communication.

...

We talk at each other, not with each other. We can't embrace. It's like sex without love.


Or love without sex. Scott, are you trying to tell us something?

Deborah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul Zrimsek said...

A little glimpse of the future here:

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance recently rejected many of the premium rates proposed by insurers. The ruling applies to plans effective April 1, 2010 and later.

With one exception, insurers must pull their Commonwealth Choice plans until they reset the rates. We expect new rates soon.

Until then, CeltiCare is the only insurer for which we can quote rates here. It offers coverage in the Greater Boston area.

The Health Connector is following these developments for you. We will work with the insurers to issue new rates, refunds or credits, as needed.

We will post new information here as we get it.

Do you want us to notify you when more plans become available?

MamaM said...

One misty moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
And I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

Thunderstorms through the night, with hail the size of marbles this morning, and green, nitrogen oxidized grass outside the window now.

It's mellow here too.

AlphaLiberal said...

For the running discussion with conservatives here on whether or not Fox News is biased, I give you Senator Tom Coburn admonishing his constituents to consume Fox News information with caution:

" While discussing his policy disagreements with Pelosi Coburn said “she’s a nice lady,” which brought hisses and hoots from the crowd. But Coburn flatly rejected the crowd's animosity towards the liberal Speaker.

“Come on now. She is nice – how many of you all have met her? She’s a nice person,” Coburn said as he went on to lecture the crowd about civility.


Coburn also cautioned his crowd not to "catch yourself being biased by FOX News that somebody is no good." "

AlphaLiberal said...

Massey Energy CEO Don Blankenship, inn a memo to his staff, brushing aside safety:

If any of you have been asked by your group presidents, your supervisors, engineers or anyone else to do anything other than run coal (i.e. build overcasts, do construction jobs, or whatever), you need to ignore them and run coal. This memo is necessary only because we seem not to understand that the coal pays the bills. .

And....
For at least six of the past 10 years, federal records indicate, the Upper Big Branch mine has recorded an injury rate worse than the national average for similar operations. The records also show that the mine had 458 violations in 2009, with a total of $897,325 in safety penalties assessed against it last year. It has paid $168,393 in safety penalties. .

So sorry for all those families that this kind of criminal behavior is allowed to happen in this country.

traditionalguy said...

The word for spring here is soft...soft breezes, soft temperatures, soft sun light and soft greenery. Atlanta is in the Appalachian mountain foothills at an elevation of 1100 feet. Dogwoods are a native plant here. There is nothing irritating except a few pollen days between rains.The azaleas are two weeks later than usual coming out after a cold winter. Retirees have been heading to the mountains to the north instead of Florida to the south in the last decade. Climate is important, but your neighbors around you are far more important.

AlphaLiberal said...

I did love the thunderstorms late last night. I like to stay up late listening to the thunder and the rain washing over the city in waves.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

David, maybe one of the amazing things is how few coal mining accidents there have been in the last several years. With the use of machines like the continuous miner, there are fewer men actually down in the mines, which caused a severe lack of jobs in coal country. During the boom of the mid '00s, though,there were billboards along the West Virginia Turnpike advertising coal mining jobs.

On a little different track, one of the things that really annoys me about urban Ohio is the way so many people look down on Appalachians, rolling their eyes and calling "those people" ignorant hillbillies and rednecks, when these are the very people who are going into mines and working on power plants so they can have heat and light and juice for their computers and games.

sunsong said...

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

-- Joyce Kilmer

Lynne said...

On a little different track, one of the things that really annoys me about urban Ohio is the way so many people look down on Appalachians, rolling their eyes and calling "those people" ignorant hillbillies and rednecks, when these are the very people who are going into mines and working on power plants so they can have heat and light and juice for their computers and games.
Well, thank you, Whimsey. But as a West Virginian, I ought to warn you that you have no idea what Mountaineers say about Ohioans! ;)

MamaM said...

AlphaLiberal...I was imagining New "Hussein" Ham to be the "old man clad all in leather", but maybe you fit the bill today too.

Your professed enjoyment of thunderstorms made me smile.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I wish it would be bright and clear. We have had snow, rain, sleet and hail every day for a couple of weeks. Three inches on the deck railing yesterday morning.

The daffodils have their heads on the ground every morning; heavy with frost or snow. Such resilient beautiful plants. Today the first sunny (albeit cold) day, they are trying to raise their faces to the sun.

New "Hussein" Ham said...

"So sorry for all those families that this kind of criminal behavior is allowed to happen in Barack Obama's regime."

FIFY

The Barack Obama regime allows these murders to run coal companies in America and has no plans to stop them ... so Barack Obama is an accessory to the murder of these fine blue collar workers.

Michael said...

Alpha Liberal: You seem to have the inside scoop on what caused the mine disaster. Can you fill us in? The first half of your cut and paste says nothing about safety, and the second may or may not be pertinent since safety violations can run from very significant to very insignificant.

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

Lynne, I don't doubt it! But I was also referring to the Appalachian areas of Ohio. If you are from an hour south or east of Columbus, a lot of people automatically subtract 15 points from your estimated IQ. Then you open your mouth, an it goes down from there.

AllenS said...

Stop the presses!

Former adult entertainment star Stormy Daniels released the following statement Tuesday, declaring her affiliation with the Republican Party. This statement is believed to be setting up Daniels' bid for U.S. Senate, running against Senator David Vitter.

I did research and she has no pubic hair! The Republican party has a big tent.

AllenS said...

Sorry, I was so caught up in the moment that I forgot to include part of her statement. Whatever came over me?

"After months of careful deliberation and consult as to the true nature of my political affiliation I am ready today to declare that should I seek the office of US Senator from the great state of Louisiana that I will do so as a Republican.

Lynne said...

If you are from an hour south or east of Columbus, a lot of people automatically subtract 15 points from your estimated IQ. Then you open your mouth, an it goes down from there.

Yeah, I've lived with that all of my life. The most insulting times are when I have to *convince* someone I'm from WV, and they stutter things like: "But you don't sound like it," or "But you're so well-spoken!" or "yes, but you're educated."

Hell, I've probably been called "clean and articulate" more times that the President.

traditionalguy said...

Allen S...do you mean a big tent in their pants? This candidate will graphically show the media that the Tea Partiers are neither rascist, nor sexist. What a big flood of opposition candidates is going to sweep to victory and show up in DC come January.

AllenS said...

Traditional,

While doing my research, I started to make a tent in my pants.

rhhardin said...

Robin filtering light through the garage window.

kentuckyliz said...

Coal mining can't be made perfectly safe.

However, I criticize the critics of mountain top removal--they want miners to die.

The sky never had a roof fall.

I love Appalachia, even with its heartbreaks.

Patty Loveless has a great mountain voice.

I Am A Soul Of Constant Sorrow and You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive capture the haunting sorrow.

But we have fun and there's so much joy here...and we keep that a secret to keep the riffraff out.

We're all keeping the porch lights on for the last four miners.

I had a hard time going to sleep Monday night, filled with anxiety for the missing.

I want to applaud the coal industry for the improvements they've made in mine safety even in the last decade. We're training more and more as MET's and that's why there were so many skilled rescuers that showed up instantly at Montcoal, well trained, skilled, equipped, ready to respond.

One man who died was weeks away from retirement.

One family lost three men.

Sad.

The danger of their jobs helps to explain the vivid faith of the region. You never know if today is the day you're going to meet your Maker.

kentuckyliz said...

I have a new Keurig coffee brewer. The mini one for home use. Had a decaf last night and a Caribou this morning.

Nice! I like it.

AllenS said...

I'll bet that Stormy Daniels has nothing more than a Mr. Coffee. She seems so down to earth.

Ann Althouse said...

(Sorry, if you talk to the troll, you may be deleted when I delete the troll. No offense meant.)