Sunday, July 20, 2014

Rambling On A Sunday Morning, July 20, 2014

We're still out in southern California, along the coast. Our two granddaughters are with us for one more week. Today we will visit one of our favorite museums (in the world): the Getty Museum in west Los Angeles. We visit every summer.

Our granddaughter and son-in-law headed back to Portland, OR, yesterday after joining us for a week here. They were staying the night in Redding, CA, getting a good night's sleep before "attacking" the mountains later today.

Talking about their trip, that led us to talk about our favorite places to live in the world. Both my wife and I would go back to the Massachusetts coast if circumstances (money and grandchildren's location) were different. May would want to live on the north shore Boston; I would settle for Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod. My wife's second choice, after Massachusetts, was Trier, Germany. My second choice, after Cape Cod, was Yorkshire, England, specifically York. My wife had a number of additional choices, but after I thought about Yorkshire, England, I was unable to come up with any other locations. It's funny how emotions take over.

The granddaughters had trouble deciding between Texas (Dallas-Ft Worth area) and southern California. I found that surprising. As much as the older granddaughter loves to swim in the ocean, I thought it would be a no-brainer.

Which brings us to the new Dickinson poll: 56% of respondents felt that their city was worse than it was five years earlier. A big complaint was a lack of big-box stores.

But the wonderful thing about America: one can move anywhere one wants to in the United States and still find a McDonald's or a Starbucks. To some extent, one can move almost anywhere in the world if one wants. It would be interesting to have a follow-on poll. If you could leave Dickinson, where would you like to move to?

A Note to the Granddaughters

Yesterday we drove down to Huntington Beach. It was unseasonably cool (the Los Angeles television talking heads used the word "mild") but the beach was packed. The line of cars waiting to get in was about a mile long and had stopped. There was no more room to park on the beach. Apparently, they would let one car in if one car left. Our young granddaughter noted that at $15 per car, the state was taking in a lot of money yesterday. At this one section of beach, I believe there are 25 parking lots; each parking lot holds about 120 cars, I suppose. It's free to walk in. One could easily park "downtown" and walk in but most folks don't: they have too much to carry in.

We elected to go to a marine nature reserve instead and go to the beach during the weekday: at least two more times this next week. The granddaughters love boogie-boarding. The younger granddaughter and I spent some time with an older gentleman who appeared homeless but was probably a millionaire. Says he comes out to Huntington Beach to visit his son and go fishing. Has a lakeside home and dock on Arrowhead Lake, and a home in Palm Springs.  He says he has the best of all worlds: the lake, the desert, the ocean. He was fishing in the estuary that led into the marine reserve. We learned a lot from  him. I learned a bit more about casting. I learned a bit more about bait. A California state license for fishing costs $65, he said -- it's "calendar-based." Fishing licenses all expire December 31st, regardless of when you buy the fishing license. He was disabled, so his fishing license was free.

Checking the website, it turns out that non-resident sport fishing licenses are a bit more expensive than what he said: about $150. But, and this is a huge BUT: children 16 and under fish for free. What's not to like about that? One-day and two-day licenses are also available for a lot less than the $150 annual fee.

The granddaughters spent much of the evening "making" origami. They have really gotten quite good at origami. If I remember, I will post a picture of their hedgehog collection all wearing samurai hats.

Global Warming

It's been unseasonably cool along the southern California coast this past week. Local television weatherwomen use the term "mild" to describe the cool weather.  It can be miserably hot in Texas, but I really do enjoy not having to check the weather in the Dallas-Ft Worth area before deciding what to wear when going outside -- except for the occasional rain showers.

It was really too cold to go to Huntington Beach yesterday but the beach was packed, as I noted above. The water was probably very, very warm and very, very enjoyable for boogie-boarding.

I see another "cold" record was set/tied in Washington, DC, this past week. IceAgeNow is reporting:
Washington Dulles Airport ties record low temperature at what is supposed to be the hottest time of year.
The mercury briefly settled at 55 degrees at Dulles Airport early this morning, matching the record low temperature for the date set 38 years ago, in 1976.
Fifty-five degrees. Wow. In July. Wow. 

Hopefully, the reduction in carbon emissions in the US (due to fracking for natural gas) and the quietest solar cycle in ages will extend the life of the Maldives. Over at wiki:
"If carbon emissions were to stop today, the planet would not see a difference for 60 to 70 years," Nasheed said. "If carbon emissions continue at the rate they are climbing today, my country will be underwater in seven years."
That was in 2012. 
I did not know that a marker had been set. 2019.