Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Some Tiegen for Tuesday

Damn those shells!

Reason #5545 That Trump Was Elected

Historically Black College Leader: So Far, Trump a Step UP From Obama
Despite the boos for Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at Bethune-Cookman, leaders of historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are noticing that Trump is a step up from Obama:
“For [President] Obama, people expected him to come in and fix everything -- especially for black people. ... But he never campaigned strongly for HBCUs,” said Walter Kimbrough, president of Dillard University in New Orleans, using the common abbreviation for the schools.
Now, he says, the reverse has happened -- Trump came in with no expectations placed on him, and some black educators have been pleasantly surprised. “So people now want to see what’s going to happen because he’s coming in saying he’s going to be the president for HBCUs,” Kimbrough added. “It’s a very different perspective, but it’s still the first 150 days, so we’ll see what happens.”
Johnny C. Taylor Jr., president of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, a nonprofit that helps provide financial assistance to students who attend black colleges, says the signs from the White House are encouraging.
“In the first four months of this presidency, the Trump administration has been far more responsive to our community than the past administration,” Taylor said. “I, for one, judge people by what they do -- not what they say.”
A Republican president, the party that allegedly hates minorities, is the one actually keeping his promises about expanding minority educational opportunities.
Following his inauguration, Trump’s most overt outreach to African Americans has been his efforts to woo students and leaders of black colleges that were founded in the years after the Civil War and today consist of 101 public and private schools nationwide.
To be fair, it was never actually in President Obama interest to help fix race relations, since he campaigned on the fact that they were bad.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Oopsy! Navy Dumps 94,000 Gallon of Jet Fuel into Bay

An incorrectly positioned switch that routed jet fuel into a tank that was too small and overflowed for hours appears to be the cause of a spill last week at Oceana Naval Air Station that contaminated a nearby creek and chased residents from their homes, Navy Rear Adm. Jack Scorby said Friday.

Scorby, commander of Navy Region Mid-Atlantic, said how the switch was left in the wrong position is still under investigation. The jet fuel was routed into a 2,000-gallon tank instead of three 880,000-gallon tanks. The Navy doubled the number of active-duty and civilian personnel assigned to stand watch and handle quality control around the clock at the fuel farm where the spill occurred, following a safety review, he said.

About 94,000 gallons of jet fuel – the equivalent of a little more than 1,700 55-gallon drums – spilled during a routine refueling at Oceana during the evening of May 10. It is believed to be the largest ever at Oceana, the Navy’s master East Coast jet base.

The spill went unnoticed until the next morning. By then, about 25,000 gallons had spread to London Bridge Road as well as a ditch that runs parallel to it and into Wolfsnare Creek, a tributary of the Lynnhaven River.
. . .
There are no national standards for exposure to the jet fuel spilled at Oceana, said Dr. Heidi Kulberg, Virginia Beach Director of Public Health. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health sets an air quality benchmark for workers without respiratory protection at 14 parts per million for an 8-hour day over a 40-hour work week, she said.

There was one reading of 17 parts per million taken in the Oceana spill’s immediate aftermath, but that was far away from a residential area, Kulberg said. All other readings taken since then have been well below that, she said.

Air quality readings taken in affected neighborhoods since Tuesday afternoon have been near zero, Scorby said. Tests of drinking water wells of two area residents also came back clear.

The Navy said booms placed along Wolfsnare Creek appeared to have stopped the fuel before it reached the Lynnhaven River, but approximately 700 animals – about 75 percent of which were fish – have been found dead.

As of Friday morning, 48 families – 177 people – had accepted the Navy’s offer to temporarily move to area hotels, Navy officials said.
One writer had to turn this into a "social justice" issue:  Outcry would have been heard in Richmond, had jet fuel spill happened in more affluent part of Virginia Beach 
Let’s pretend it was residents in these neighborhoods sprinkled liberally with McMansions who were told it was safe for them to stay in their homes, despite fuel fumes that were so strong they had headaches and were gagging.

Chances are, there would have been a parade of Mercedes and BMWs headed to Norfolk as the residents ignored official assurances of safety and decamped to The Main.
Yep, let's bulldoze those neighborhoods, and put in another Navy base.

Obamacare Schadenfreude Dragging On

and on and on. . .

Left over from before the day we left for Italy, news that Obamacare continues the spiral of destruction: Aetna pulls out of Virginia Obamacare market. Only because it's so good and well thought out, right? Trump, Shouting ‘Death Spiral,’ Has Nudged Affordable Care Act Downward, whines the New York Times. Ben Voth at the American Thinker wonders How many Americans does Obamacare kill each day?, utilizing the usual liberal tools:
In 2015, something unexpected and unusual happened to the United States. For the first time since 1993, life expectancy in the United States declined. The decline was significant and extensive. Life expectancy is one of the most basic indicators of human health and the United States is one of the most advanced nations in the world. The decline should be causing a careful consideration of its causes and potential solutions. This is largely being ignored by our intellectual leadership for a rather obvious reason: the Affordable Care Act that promised to make health insurance more affordable and available for Americans. Recognizing the most important achievement of the Obama administration and its potential role in declining health outcomes for Americans is an important investigation. . . 
I know, correlation is not causation, but the  article does go on to point out how Obamacare has negatively impacted American healthcare. Michele Malkin, with Jimmy Kimmel in mind asks Who has Absolute Health Care Moral Authority?
When I countered late-night joker Jimmy Kimmel’s Obamacare-cheerleading monologue tied to his newborn child’s chronic illness with my own experience as a mother of a chronically ill child, left-wing readers called me an “insensitive b—-” “mean-spirited” and “twisted.” One reading comprehension-challenged letter writer, Diane Goldwater, wrote:
“Perhaps one day one of your children will suffer from a life-threatening disease… what goes around comes around we will see how you feel when it happens to someone you love.”
Along similar bloodthirsty lines, in response to all Republicans who supported the House health insurance package, Newsweek writer Kurt Eichenwald seethed on Twitter that he wanted his political enemies and their loved ones to be “tortured:”
“I hope every GOPr who voted 4 Trumpcare sees a family member get long term condition, lose insurance & die.”
As ever, absolute moral authority only belongs to those who preach civility and compassion for others — while ramming their own policy preferences and values down our throats.
What? House GOP hasn’t sent health-care bill to the Senate, may need to vote again. Maybe, maybe not!

"Death Panel" redux: Remember IPAB? It's time for a full repeal
The Independent Payment Advisory Board aroused considerable furor when it was included in the 2010 healthcare overhaul, then all but vanished from the public consciousness. It's about to come roaring back, and Congress should kill it before it can.

The idea behind the IPAB is to restrain the growth in spending by having 15 bureaucrats decide what should and should not be covered by Medicare – in effect, those unelected "experts" will be rationing healthcare for some of our most vulnerable citizens.

IPAB is supposed to come into being when Medicare spending growth begins to exceed target levels. We're not there yet.

The report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' chief actuary, who determines whether growth is exceeding projections, is past due for 2017. But projections indicate there is a good chance growth will exceed the target this year or next. That gives Congress a narrow window to kill the beast before it emerges fully from its lair.

The decisions made by IPAB carry the force of law unless Congress specifically rejects them under Obamacare rules that make such a rejection extremely difficult. That gives this cabal of Washington power brokers almost unilateral authority to dictate healthcare policy, putting those bureaucrats between you and your doctor.

Congress has for the second year in a row refused to fund the IPAB as it awaits its summons from the actuary. But starving the beast isn't good enough. Lawmakers need to drive a stake through its heart.

Reason #5544 That Trump Was Elected

Here are some of the highlights from the latest batch of trial balloons:

  • The budget will slash $1.7 trillion in spending on entitlement programs, according to Bloomberg.
  • Trump’s budget will include a massive nearly $200 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, the modern version of food stamps, over the next 10 years – what amounts to a 25% reduction, according to The Washington Post.
  • The food stamp cuts are part of a broader $274 billion welfare-reform effort, according to a report by The Associated Press.The budget calls for about $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid for fiscal year 2018, WaPo reported.
  • The budget also calls for $2.6 billion in border security spending, $1.6 billion of which will be earmarked for Trump’s proposed wall along the U.S.’s southern border.
  • The budget is also expected to propose major domestic discretionary spending cuts - an earlier version of the budget called for $54 billion in such cuts next year alone.

Predictably, Democrats are already up in arms over the proposal, even though a formal draft isn’t expected until Tuesday.
Bureaucrats and welfare cheats hurt worst.

I'm not expecting all of this to materialize, but if someone doesn't propose it, it never will. Someday. we'll have to get spending under control, either that or sit back and let the Chinese foreclose.

Morning Music - "Fight to Win"

Heather Gillis also played with the Butch Trucks Band:

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Reason #5543 That Trump Was Elected

Because he drives the liberal media crazy: Adriana Cohen: The media has lost its marbles
. . . Just this week the media lost its marbles over the notion Trump may have shared intelligence with Russian officials in a recent White House visit. Never mind that there is no proof Trump divulged anything inappropriate, or that the media didn’t give a hoot when Obama did it last summer. Democrats get a pass.

Four dead Americans in Benghazi? The media yawned. Targeting of conservatives by the IRS during the Obama administration? The media snored. Colluding with the Iranians in secret deals, with massive money transfers and releasing dangerous actors? That they considered a triumph of diplomacy. But if Trump orders two scoops of ice cream, he’s Dr. Evil and CNN devotes multiple segments to it.
Two scoops of ice cream! Impeach him!

Trump Tramples Fox Hostess Hopes

Trump 'furious' at Guilfoyle's bid for Spicer's job, 'She's using us'

Well, duh, that's what show business people are for! But could she be worse than Spicer?
President Trump is "furious" at reports that Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle is gunning for White House spokesman Sean's Spicer's job, telling aides that his press secretary is a vital part of his operation, according to insiders.

Knowledgeable sources said that Trump was angered when she went to the press to announce that she was talking to Trump aides about the job.

In what was viewed as a 'diss' by Team Trump, she told the San Jose Mercury News, "Sean Spicer is a very nice man and a patriot; he's dedicated himself to this public service." She added, "I wish him the best, and I know he puts a lot of effort into it."
I watched "The Five" until it got moved to 9 PM in the recent shake up. I enjoy Kimberly's spicy additions to the conversations, although she doesn't strike me as an exceptionally deep thinker. But, hey, she's got great legs, and a position at the table to show them. I think it's in her contract.

But she reached for his job. "I'm a patriot, and it would be an honor to serve the country," Guilfoyle said. "I think it'd be a fascinating job. It's a challenging job, and you need someone really determined and focused, a great communicator in there with deep knowledge to be able to handle that position."

That did not go down well in the Oval Office.

"Trump gets angry every time he sees those stories. He believes that she is using him to better her own situation," said one insider. "He's furious."
I knew she was a former prosecutor, and a former wife to San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome. But I was not aware she modeled for Victoria's Secret:

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Saturday Beach Report 5/20/17

After yesterday's 91 F swelter, today's breezy 65 degree weather was a joy. Skye and I made it down to beach around 3 PM to find it pretty well used.
 A fellow fossil hunter searching through a bunch of shell fragments retained on a big sieve. That's too much work for me
 Although I only found one shark's tooth, it was a pretty good one, the largest "Mako" (actually a White Shark probably ancestral to today's Great White) tooth of the year, by just a smidgen, and thus occupies a place of honor on the kitchen window sill until beaten by a larger tooth. It was just sitting out on the sand in the surf waiting to be picked up, or covered again.
Despite the breeze, there were some butterflies in the milkweed that grows in the sand dunes. The milkweed is a perennial that comes up from the old root stock and blooms each spring. This is a Variegated Fritillary
And this one is an American Lady,

Reason #5542 That Trump Was Elected

GREAT AGAIN: Unlike Obama, Trump doesn’t bow to Saudi king
There were two very different outcomes when two American presidents greeted the king of Saudi Arabia.

All eyes were on President Trump today as he arrived in the country for his first foreign trip.

Video shows the president stepping off the plane and greeting King Salman:

Trump’s posture stands in stark difference to President Obama’s in the early days of his presidency.

Cameras captured Obama bowing to King Abdullah, contorting nearly to a 90-degree angle in what many called a moment of American weakness:

Screw 'em. We have fracking.

You might also notice Melania is not wearing a head scarf.

Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links.

Rule 5 Saturday - Calabasas Cutie Kyra Santoro

This week Rule 5 is being celebrated in honor of Kyra Santoro, who despite the Italian sounding name, hails from Calabasas, California:
Model who signed with Newmark Models and Osbrink Talent Agency. She was named Miss October 2012 by TransWorld Surf. She was featured as a new face in the 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. She is from Calabasas, California.

She has been featured as a Sports Illustrated "Lovely Lady of the Day" and appeared on the website The Chive.

Her father taught her to surf at a young age.

She and Erin Heatherton both appeared in the 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
She can also "Seductively Eat French Fries!"

Her Instagram,  Twitter, Facebook, and homepage.

Over at GOODSTUFFs BLOGGING MAGAZINE (293rd Issue), "I spy with my little eye... something beginning with.... ummmm.... Russia" - Laetitia Casta : Plus, this mind blowing blog post boasts some planetary science, cartography and plenty of sizzling chickadees. Linked at Pirate's Cove in the weekly "Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup" and links. Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" and "FMJRA 2.0: Tequila Sunrise" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Red Poppies of Italy

The first day we left Sicily, I started seeing red and orange poppies along the roads. They were probably in Sicily, too, but I may have over looked them. At any rate, I first became aware of them when we stopped at Popelia. I knew a little about the Red Poppies of Flanders, but I didn't stop to google:
The spring of 1915 was the first time that warm weather began to warm up the countryside after the cold winter at war in 1914-1915. In the region around Ypres in Belgian Flanders the months of April and May 1915 were unusually warm. Farmers were ploughing their fields close up to the front lines and new life was starting to grow. One of the plants that began to grow in clusters on and around the battle zones was the red field or corn poppy (it's species name is: papaver rhoeas). It is often to be found in or on the edges of fields where grain is grown.
Perfect for a battlefield or a roadside. There were orange poppies too, but not as big or striking.
The field poppy is an annual plant which flowers each year between about May and August. It's seeds are disseminated on the wind and can lie dormant in the ground for a long time. If the ground is disturbed from the early spring the seeds will germinate and the poppy flowers will grow.

This is what happened in parts of the front lines in Belgium and France. Once the ground was disturbed by the fighting, the poppy seeds lying in the ground began to germinate and grow during the warm weather in the spring and summer months of 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1918. The field poppy was also blooming in parts of the Turkish battlefields on the Gallipoli penninsular when the ANZAC and British Forces arrived at the start of the campaign in April 1915.
In Flanders Fields by John McCrae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Not the Benedictine monastery, just an everyday
Italian ruin.
I didn't know at the time that the red poppies were also featured in a song about WW II, Red Poppy Flowers on Monte Cassino
In early 1944 a German stronghold, dug in at the ancient Benedictine monastery atop Monte Cassino, had blocked the Allies' advance toward Rome. The forces of several Allied countries had attempted since mid-January to capture the German fortress. For a fourth major assault, which would begin on 11 May 1944, Polish troops were rotated in.

The song's melody was composed during the night of 17–18 May 1944 by Alfred Schütz, a composer, actor and member of the Polish Soldiers' Theater garrisoned at Campobasso in the shadow of Monte Cassino. Two opening stanzas were written at that time by Feliks Konarski ("Ref-ren" — "Refrain"), a poet and song-writer and soldier of the Polish II Corps commanded by Major General Władysław Anders.The third stanza would be written a few days later.

The third verse, Konarski wrote several hours later. In his memoirs, he wrote:
"For the first time singing Red poppies on Monte Cassino, we all cried. Soldiers cried with us. Red poppies, which bloomed over night, became one more symbol of bravery and sacrifice - a tribute of alive ones, whom for love of freedom died for freedom of people."

Reason #5541 That Trump Was Elected

ICE: Arrests up nearly 40% over last year
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests are up substantially under President Trump. ICE published a statement on its website highlighting the increase since the president signed an executive order on immigration enforcement in January:
ICE has arrested more than 41,000 individuals who are either known or suspected of being in the country illegally. This reflects an increase of 37.6 percent over the same period in 2016.
Between Jan. 22 and April 29, 2017, ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) deportation officers administratively arrested 41,318 individuals on civil immigration charges. Between Jan. 24 and April 30, 2016, ERO arrested 30,028.
Acting Director Thomas Homan says of the arrests, “ICE agents and officers have been given clear direction to focus on threats to public safety and national security, which has resulted in a substantial increase in the arrest of convicted criminal aliens. However, when we encounter others who are in the country unlawfully, we will execute our sworn duty and enforce the law.”

That latter point has been a major concern for immigration activists who are concerned about people being swept up in an ICE sweep despite having committed no crime. Acting director Homan says nearly 75% of those arrested are convicted criminals, but Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice Education Fund, disputes that. He tells the LA Times, “These guys spin, distort, exaggerate, and dissemble almost as much as the president they work for.” Sharry adds, “Instead of targeting serious criminals, they are targeting every immigrant they can get their hands on and calling all of them criminals.”
And I'm OK with that. ICE should focus on criminal illegal aliens, but if, in the course of seeking them out, they run into illegal aliens who have not been proven to be criminals (other than entering the country illegally), are they supposed to just overlook it, and say "Never mind?" They were under the Obama regime. And it's pretty clear that they were handicapping ICE's attempts to arrest criminal aliens, given the sudden rise in their arrests and deportations.

Democrats didn't like the old electorate, and they were trying to import a new one.

Fish Pic Friday - Snookered!

This week's featured fish is the Snook:
The common snook (Centropomus undecimalis) is a species of marine fish in the family Centropomidae of the order Perciformes. The common snook is also known as the sergeant fish or robalo. It was originally assigned to the sciaenid genus Sciaena; Sciaena undecimradiatus and Centropomus undecimradiatus are obsolete synonyms for the species.

The common snook is an estuarine-dependent fish species. Within estuaries, juvenile common snook are most often found inhabiting areas such as coastal wetland ponds, island networks, and creeks. Despite being a euryhaline species of fish, common snook do show a tendency to gravitate towards lower salinity conditions in the early stages of their life. By being able to adapt and thrive in both high and low salinity conditions through osmoregulation, common snook display a high level of habitat plasticity. Common snook are opportunistic predators whose feeding habits indicate that there is a positive relationship between their size and the size of their prey, meaning that as the snook grows it feeds on larger and larger prey. Common snook have been found to occasionally engage in cannibalistic activities, though this behavior is rare.

Centropomus undecimalis is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from the coast of the North Carolina to Brazil including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Many believe that snook originated in Central America and that changes in the earth’s weather is what brought the snook to Florida. It is believed that during a great warming trend after the Ice Age, snook moved northward along the Mexico shoreline. They followed the perimeter of the Gulf of Mexico, down the west coast of Florida and up the east coast.
One of my treasured fishing memories is a big Snook I caught off the jetty at Fort Pierce, FL, inlet one morning while I was jigging with light jigs and light tackle, expecting flounder. The jig was grabbed by a Snook about 3 feet long, and it took me near the bottom of the spool twice before I brought it to the rocks, and with the help of another fisherman, wrestled it onto the jetty.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Can Rural Folk Make Stormwater Pay?

Turning stormwater runoff into a commodity,
A possible way to turn stormwater runoff into a commodity rather than a problem was unveiled during the Virginia Rural Coastal Economic Summit held last Friday at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
. . .
The concept involves turning the stormwater problem on its head and looking at it as a resource rather than simply as a problem. If rural communities can collect stormwater runoff, clean it, impound it, and create storm banks, said Lawrence, the clean water could be used to sell clean water credits to urban communities to offset their own higher environmental impacts. Any such program could potentially earn money for a private business or even for a locality, he said.

“We need to implement water quality programs and get money for staying blue and green,” said Lawrence. “We’ve got so much water coming off the roads that we can have an endless supply we can clean … Nobody’s being regulated to clean that water; we’re just dumping it into the Chesapeake Bay.”

Lawrence said that, with an average of 46 inches of rain falling per year in the region, just one mile of 20-foot-wide VDOT-managed public roadway could yield three million gallons of untreated water annually. An area with 200 miles of roadway would therefore have the potential of collecting a whopping 600 million gallons of dirty water a year.

“If we do a billion gallons of clean water, it’s got to be worth something to the state,” he said. “It would allow directed growth in areas where you really want to have it.”
An interesting idea. I like any pollution control method that encourages the cleanup through incentives rather than by penalizing users, and I like the idea of getting the cities to pay. Stormwater control is one of the most expensive forms of pollution abatement.

My problem with it is that not all pollution is equal. Cleaning up rural areas won't help a place like Baltimore Harbor or Elizabeth River all that much, since most of its stormwater problems arises from the city. Having rural folk make clean water cheap won't do a damn thing to make Baltimore Harbor any cleaner.

But I guess I like the idea of taking their money anyway.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Reason #5540 That Trump Was Elected

Via Wombat-socho's "In The Mailbox: 05.17.17"Traitor, Spy Manning Freed

Three days before before leaving office, Preznit Obama pardon Bradley Chelsea Manning. According to CNN:
Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence analyst behind one of the largest leaks of classified information in history, was freed Wednesday morning and is looking forward to living openly as a woman for the first time in her life without government restrictions, her attorney says.

Manning came out as a transgender woman in prison.

As a prisoner at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, she had to conform to male grooming standards before her 3 a.m. ET release.

"She has experienced trauma over the past seven years of her confinement and the trauma from those experiences won't just evaporate the day she walks out of prison," said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Chase Strangio, who represented Manning.
The poor dear. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison on 20 counts, including violations of the Espionage Act.

Why do democrats pardon traitors? And why do traitors rename themselves after the the daughters of democrat potential presidents? Many of us notice, and vote accordingly.

Let's See the Tape!

Women are going clubbing wearing nothing but tape
Here’s a trend that’s starting to stick: Women in nightclubs wearing nothing more than tape covering their bits and bobs.

Which leads to one painfully obvious question: Doesn’t it hurt to peel all that tape off?

This odd tale of the tape begins with Joel Alvarez, a photographer in Miami and creator of The Black Tape Project, which he calls “tape art and alternative fashion.”

Alvarez tapes pieces of black electric tape onto naked models to make it look as if they’re wearing swimwear.

Skimpy swimwear.

Really skimpy swimwear.

And he’s popular. Very popular.

Gee, go figure.
We, or at least SI has decided that paint is acceptable clothing. Why not tape?

Found at Hot Air.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

If Chesapeake Bay Crabs are Doing So Well . . .

A while ago we saw news trumpeted in the Bay world that the crab survey showed that female crabs were at record levels. However, we also pointed out the footnote in the story, that juvenile crabs, the crabs necessary to sustain the population was not doing nearly as well:
Chesapeake Bay crabbers will likely face some harvest restriction this season to protect future generations of the iconic crustacean, a move managers say is necessary because of the low population of juveniles.

Fishery managers for Maryland, Virginia and the Potomac River Fisheries Commission all say they are considering shortening the season and imposing stricter limits on the harvest of female crabs. They are not proposing changes in male crab catches.

News of harvest cuts surprised some crabbers at Maryland’s Blue Crab Industry Advisory Committee last week. The latest winter dredge survey results released in April showed the highest number of female crabs in the 28-year history of the annual count. Female crabs clocked in at 254 million, a 31 percent increase over last year.

But the Baywide survey, which counts the crabs in more than 1,000 locations as they burrow in the mud, estimated there were 125 million juvenile crabs in the Chesapeake, a 54 percent decrease from the 271 million found in 2016. That is the lowest tally since 2013 — a year when crabbers also had their catch curtailed — and one of the five lowest estimates since 1990, managers said.

As a result, managers are expecting a robust harvest for the first half of this year, fueled by the large number of adults now in the Bay. But catches of the Chesapeake’s most valuable seafood will need to be curtailed later in the year to protect the smaller number of juvenile crabs as they reach market size.

Maryland and Virginia are both expected to decide by the end of June on harvest restrictions, which will take effect for the remainder of the 2017 season. The Potomac River commission will discuss its plan at its June 1 meeting, executive secretary Martin Gary said.
So are crabs doing well or not? That is the question.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Back to the Beach

I bailed Skye out of Lori's doggy spa about 10 AM, and by 11 had decided that if we were going to walk, sooner was better than later, as temperatures were already 82 F, and eventually went as high as 88. So we went on down to the beach.
It ain't the Amalfi Coast, but it's mine. Clear, sunny, and almost cloudless. Humidity is starting to build up. Today really feels like summer.
 A fellow fossil hunter. I hope she had better luck than I had today.

Some Mountain Laurel is blooming in our back lots. One of our empty lots has a big patch of it, to where you might call it a "Laurel Hell."

Well, We're Back! Did Anything Exciting Happen While We Were Gone?

Say, how is FBI Director Comey's security review investigation into White House leaks going?

It's great to be back home and sleep in our own bed again, after a grueling 24 hour game of hurry up and wait at airports, TSA and Customs lines. We'll pick Skye up from the the doggy spa sometime this morning, and start trying to get onto a normal schedule again.

Things I'm going to miss about Italy:

  • Salami, prosciutto, and wonderful pastries for breakfast
  • Wine with lunch, often multiple selections
  • Good cappuccino nearly everywhere, cheaper than Starbucks. To be fair, if you order it after 10:30 AM, they know you're a foreigner. Espresso, too, for after 10:30
  • Amazing dinners, again with multiple wines, and aperitifs
  • Gelato
  • Outstanding hotels, (for the most part)
  • Cute girls everywhere, dressing in style
Things I'm not going to miss about Italy:

  • Lines at airports and TSA
  • Italian toilets
According to my count, I've taken some 1,367 photographs, so the photos I've posted the past week or so using the IPad only represent a tiny fraction. I'll try to replace those tiny, low-res photos with decent images over the next week or so. Meantime, I'll leave you with this last one I call Salerno Rainbow. Click to enlarge:

Monday, May 15, 2017

Salerno Sunrise

On our last full day in Italy. I don't know if I'll get a chance to post again before we have to go.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

And On to the Amalfi Coast

After our repast at San Gorgonio, we hustled on down the road to Salerno, and the southern end of the Amalfi Coast, at Vietri. The sights out our hotel room window:

A short walk to the village:

Vietri specializes in food, wine, gelato, and ceramics, often ocean themed.

 A fishing boat sets its nets near the shore.

The ancient watchtower on the shores to guard the coast.

The Lombard Duke's castle on the nearby mountain.

The glass fronted elevator that carried us from the hotel to the beach.

Looking back up at our hotel.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Another Day, Another Wine Tasting

This morning we headed out of Benevento, ultimately headed to Salerno, but with, of course, a stop for lunch along the way. As luck would have it (it's not called a food and wine tour for nothing), our stop consisted of a wine tasting:

Our host was a delightful Italian woman who talked with her hands:

But first we toured the herb and rose gardens that grow on top of the storage room and help regulate the temperature.

Wombat-socho has "Rule 5 Sunday – The Heat Is On" ready for your viewing pleasure at the Other McCain.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Benevento and Beyond

This morning we took a walk through Benevento, the town half way down the Apian Way. It's entrance is marked with Trajan's Arch from ca 100 AD:

St. Sophia's church (from last night)

And a Roman amphitheater:

Afterwards we were bused out to the wine co-op at La Guardinaire, where we saw how the make wine on an industrial scale

After wine, and a belly full of delicious snacks designed to pair with the wine, and shortly thereafter went further up the mountain to 

Where we saw a ceramics demonstration and:

Then we headed on up the mountain to the citadel atop La Guardinaire:

From where we saw, among other things, Pliny the Elder's "Sleeping Woman"

Afterwards we drove home, had ant other fabulous wine soaked meal, and retired.