By: EarlB, 2:38 AM GMT on September 22, 2010
With the approach of the equinox in a few days we hear of the
changing seasons on radio and television, the amateur experts
looking for students, Earth tilts, equal length day and night,
all of the usual lessons. What everyone has been witnessing have
been the later sunrises, the earlier sunsets and a general
cooling of the days. Changes coming, changes here.
The farmer who cares for land came to reap the very modest
rewards of this year's corn crop. The mature corn was just
barely tall enough to hide a deer. The few ears of corn on
plants were only 25 percent full, cobs were either empty or
rotten-kernaled. It was a bad year for farming corn.
With the corn gone, the deer are more obvious, the wild turkeys,
too. But, so are the cars and trucks on the county road. Even
the poorest of corn crops provided protection from the
The farmer will be sowing a winter cover crop of rye, he's
planting food for the soil and food for the February soul. But
that is a winter's tale, when autumn's changes to come will
be changes past.
By: EarlB, 1:26 AM GMT on September 09, 2010
Last week, the Caribbean Islands and the East Coast of the United States
were on alert with the approach of another hurricane, not an uncommon
occurrence this time of year.
What was uncommon, for me, was that the hurricane and I shared the same
name. Again, not uncommon, the list of names is finite. It IS a larger
list than it used to be when only female names were used in the Atlantic.
In those days the storms were "personalized", with comparisons of storms
and women as both being "unpredictable", among other disparaging attributes.
But, in the days of politically proper sensitivities, male names were
added to the official list of storm names. Equality! Equality? If a storm
makes landfall and there is loss of life or loss of property, what is
useful in having your name associated with a tragedy? It was uncomfortably
cute when people asked me last week "What is Earl going to do?". I
had some humorous pat answers ready, all the while hoping that as with
the previous "Earl", the hurricane would spin harmlessly at sea, causing
This "Earl" did cause damage, I've not heard of deaths as a result of the
passage (the "weather teases" (not news) that we were force-fed would be an
easy target of another entry), but, I propose doing away with the potential
body count as a standard. I propose eliminating the usage of personal names
in storm designations. What purpose does using a person's name serve? Why not
use a number and a year, or the phonetic alphabet and a year to designate a
storm? Stop popularizing disaster. Now, storm names are retired when a certain
threshold of destruction is achieved, let's retire storm names altogether.
A "Rose" by another name would still be a hurricane!
Updated: 12:10 PM GMT on September 09, 2010