Saturday, May 21, 2011

News: 21st.May? Reward in CA. TX Burns While AR, MS, LA Drown. Craw Fishing. People & Animals Exhausted. Queen. Shuttle's Cargo. Cargo Trailer.

"Judgment Day" billboard near Cincinnati, Ohio.Save the Date - Return of Christ - May 21, 2011

"Many individuals, past and present, have made false and misleading claims about the end times. Harold Camping is the most recent of these. While such people feel like they are doing the work of God, in reality they are producing skepticism and a lack of faith when their prophecies fail. We must treat God's Word with respect and care when teaching about prophecy.

In recent weeks a considerable amount of media attention has centered on the assertions of Harold Camping, an 89-year-old minister who believes that the world will experience a kind of "judgment day," beginning on May 21, 2011. Camping, who is a founder of a California-based media network called Family Radio, bases his assertions on his personal understanding of the Bible.

History shows that many, many people have developed personal interpretations of certain passages from the Bible, leading them to believe that Jesus Christ would return or other events of divine origin would take place over the past centuries. To date, none of these personal interpretations have come to pass as predicted.
For more information, you are invited to review these short topical summaries published by the United Church of God: "Are We Living in the Time of the End?" "God's Holy Day Plan: The Promise of Hope for All Mankind" and "Does the Bible Teach 'A Secret Rapture'?"  A commentary by Michael Snyder Posted May 18, 2011

Dog Dumping on California Highway
$5,000 Reward being offered for information leading to an arrest
(LOS ANGELES) – " has just learned of a devastating dog abandonment situation that occurred off the Imperial Highway near a Southern California dog park on Wednesday night, April 27. Many of the dogs were immediately hit by oncoming traffic as they fled for safety.
Describing a scene of complete mayhem with about 15 small white terrier-type dogs swerving in and out of traffic on this busy highway next to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on the corner of Main Street, witnesses at the scene heard brakes screech and watched one of the dogs get hit, dragged 20 feet, and then come out from underneath the vehicle behind. The first driver did not stop.

Sill’s organization D Cups Saving Tea Cups is offering a $3,500 reward for information that leads to the identification and arrest of the individual responsible for this act of cruelty. And Katherine Heigl's Foundation has added another $1500 reward on top of that. 
Any and all leads are appreciated and should be directed to the El Segundo Police Department."
More at:


Texas Wildfires: Months Of Flames, Drought Devastate The Lone Star State

Wildfires at Possum Kingdom burned about 90% of the state park and forced closure of the nearby fish hatchery. Fortunately there were no injuries or major facility damage


Fires sweeping across Texas, firefighter killed

GRAHAM, Texas — "Wildfires sweeping across hundreds of thousands of acres in parched Texas killed a firefighter, forced hundreds of evacuations — including an entire town — and destroyed dozens of homes on Friday, officials said.
Strong winds were fueling fires that spanned about 655 square miles, according to the Texas Forest Service.
Some of the fires have been burning for a week or more, including three in West Texas that have charred a combined 400,000 acres.
Volunteer firefighter Gregory M. Simmons, 51, died while battling a 3,000-acre blaze Friday afternoon near Eastland, a town about 130 miles west of Dallas, Mayor Mark Pipkin said. Simmons had been a firefighter for two decades, including 11 years with Eastland’s fire department, the mayor said."

Eds:  Corrects that firefighter was killed in separate fire, not fighting the 20,000-acre blaze.
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Ranchers Can't Afford the Drought and Wildfires, Selling Off Cattle   5/17/11.  Midland, TX -

"The West Texas wildfires are hitting ranchers hard, more than 2.5 million acres of grassland have burned across the state this year alone.
Ranchers have told CBS 7 that 90 percent of that land is used for agriculture, and one of the biggest impacts is to fence lines, destroying more than 400 miles in West Texas, and it takes $5,000 to $15,000 per mile to repair.
Now with their grazing land charred and expensive damage to their property ranchers are facing their last resort.
"We're about running 30 percent more per week than we did this time last year," explained Sid Wilson the owner of Western Livestock Auction in Midland, where the stalls are full as ranchers begin to unload the cattle they can no longer afford to feed.

"A lot of people are pulling their cattle like two months early to sell them."
Not only are ranchers losing their commodity, they're also losing money.
Wilson estimates ranchers are losing about $100 per cow by selling early, which can add up very quickly."
More at:

Now about the flooding:
As seen from space:


Federal assistance for flood fight expanded.

FloodsBATON ROUGE — "State officials say the Federal Emergency Management Agency has expanded assistance to the state and parishes responding to Mississippi River flooding.
The expansion, requested by Gov. Bobby Jindal, means 22 parishes are eligible for reimbursement of costs associated with flood response.
The federal government will cover 75 percent of the costs, with the local government responsible for the other 25 percent.

The parishes included in the FEMA declaration are Ascension, Assumption, Avoyelles, Catahoula, Concordia, East Baton Rouge, East Carroll, Iberia, Iberville, LaSalle, Madison; Pointe Coupee, St. Landry, St. Martin; St. Charles, St. James; St. John the Baptist, St. Mary, Tensas, Terrebonne, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.
The state said Sunday it's requesting the addition of Caldwell, East Feliciana, Evangeline, Franklin, Lafourche, Lincoln, Morehouse, Ouachita, Richland, Union and West Carroll."

Flooding In Louisiana's Great Basin: A Good For Craw Fishing?

by Greg Allen  May 18, 2011

Water from the Mississippi River rushes through the Old River Control  Structure towards the Atchafalaya Basin in Concordia Parish, La. The gates were opened to help relieve rising floodwaters.
"Water from the Mississippi River rushes through the Old River Control Structure towards the Atchafalaya Basin in Concordia Parish, La. The gates were opened to help relieve rising floodwaters.
The Army Corps of Engineers opened another bay on the Morganza Spillway Wednesday — diverting more water off the Mississippi through the bayous and rivers of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin.
The Corps says it will divert as much water as necessary to keep the Mississippi no higher than 45 feet as it passes through Baton Rouge.
But some of that water might actually be welcome.

'We Need Good Water'

Few people pay closer attention to water conditions in the Atchafalaya Basin than those who make their living catching crawfish.
Lee Wisdom and other craw fishermen in St. Martin Parish are launching their boats, not off the ramps, but from the levee. They can't get to the ramps. Water has already risen several feet on Bayou Benoit. And water from the Morganza Spillway hasn't even reached this area yet.
Mike Bienvenu, head of the Louisiana Crawfish Producers Association, says he's not sure whether the coming flood will improve the crawfish crop or not.

"We don't like high water. High water is not good. We need good water. All we need is three or four feet [of] water to crawfish in, that's all we need," he says."
Floodwaters there are expected to crest Tuesday just under the record level set in 1937.

"Craw fishing has declined here in recent years. Bienvenu and others blame the web of canals and levees that oil and gas companies have put in the Atchafalaya Basin, keeping fresh water from some bayous.
When the high water hits this area in coming weeks, it will flush out stagnant ponds with fresh water full of oxygen and sediment. Harold Schoeffler, who's fished these waters his whole life, says that's bound to improve things in the basin.
As water washes up on levees and other formerly dry areas, he says long-dormant crawfish will come out of the mud and start breeding.

"So you get this phenomenal production," Schoeffler says. "And then shrimp. This is an estuary where shrimp from the Gulf come into this system and reproduce. So you have this phenomenal amount of nutrients and water that's going to cause an enormous growth of shrimp that feeds speckled trout and redfish and flounder. And the whole thing just takes off."

Short-term, the high water is threatening a huge animal population including as many as 150 black bears, plus many deer and smaller mammals. Schoeffler, who is the longtime chairman of the Sierra Club in this part of Louisiana, says, for the most part, the animals should do fine. Water is rising slowly, and he says, even at the crest, there will be plenty of high ground in the basin.

"We have spoil banks up there 50, 55 feet above sea level," he says. "Many hills in the 35- to 45-foot range, which are really an island for wildlife." "
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VICKSBURG, Miss: For flood victims, life is tedious waiting game.

"For thousands of people forced from their homes by the rising Mississippi River, life has become a tedious waiting game: waiting for meals at shelters, waiting for the latest word on their flooded homes, waiting for the river to fall.
The monotony of shelter life has taken a toll on victims who have already been displaced for weeks and may not be able to return for at least a month. The river is expected to crest Thursday in Vicksburg, but high water might not retreat in some areas until late June.
"Lord only knows when it's going to recede. It's so much water," said Steven Cole, who has stayed for nearly two weeks at a church being used as a Red Cross shelter.
Cole's bottom lip quivered as he described how he ended up here: He wrecked the truck he uses for carpentry work while helping evacuate several families. Then the house he shared with a friend flooded.
Without the shelter in Vicksburg, "I'd be out in the streets," he said."
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A River’s Crest Arrives, Almost an Afterthought.      Published: May 19, 2011

In Henderson La., on Thursday, Manuel Martinez readied a houseboat as he waited for the waters to rise. Mr. Martinez had evacuated his home in Butte La Rose. 
VICKSBURG, Miss. — "Here it was at last — high, fast and in a very bad mood.

A mandatory evacuation was to go into effect in Butte La Rose, where a sign stated the obvious.
The crest of the Mississippi rolled into town on Thursday morning, a few inches shy of earlier estimates but still setting a record by a healthy margin. For those along its banks, it was hardly a pivotal moment: the crest had been announcing its arrival for weeks by flooding neighborhoods and sending backwater over thousands of acres of Mississippi and Louisiana farmland, and it was not going back down to normal levels anytime soon.

The damage has already been extensive, and the waters have proved deadly.
Police officials here said Thursday that a man pulled from the water earlier in the week had died in the hospital. They said they were still trying to determine whether the death of the 69-year-old man, who had been trying to wade through the floodwaters, was caused by drowning.
If so, that would bring the death toll from this year’s floods to at least four; three died in flooding from the White River in Arkansas earlier this month.

Officials worried that residents, impatient to return to their homes, would try to come back sooner than they should. The emergency, they insisted, is continuing.
“For many people not familiar with a river flood, they think the crest is the magical end to this event,” said Sheriff Martin Pace of Warren County, where Vicksburg is located. “It is not.”
The river will stay this high for a week or more here, and the level is not projected to sink back to normal until August. The worst of the flooding is also in store for the towns and small communities in southern Louisiana over the next week, and will stay there, too, for a long time.

The gradual opening was intended both to prevent scouring on the floodgates and to give people and animals time to get out of the way, which they are doing up and down the river.
Reports of black bears, which are rarely seen in Louisiana, have begun coming into state and federal offices. Alligators a dozen feet long have been spotted working the levee banks for food. Feral hogs flushed out by the floodwaters were rooting around a park here in Vicksburg, forcing its temporary closure.
Deer scrambled across Highway 90 in Louisiana in groups of 30 or so. Alfalfa bales have been put out along levees in the Mississippi Delta so deer can have something to eat in the long days before the waters to recede.
“We’ve seen animals just exhausted,” said Kenny Ribbeck of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

People are pretty tired, too. More than a million sand bags have been filled and stacked in Louisiana. The Red Cross is standing by ready to open 22 shelters. Some 1,150 members of the Louisiana National Guard are at the ready. And yet they wait."
Complete article at:

More On The FloodingRusty Jenkins
A member of the Louisiana National Guard stands guard as water diverted through the Morganza Spillway begins to fill a pasture in Morganza, La., on Saturday.
Bayous Flood As La. Residents Scramble
Rising waters are being diverted to ease pressure on the levees of Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
When the Army Corps of Engineers blasted part of a levee holding back the Mississippi River last week, floodwater poured over Missouri farmland and surrounded this farm near New Madrid, Mo.
Army Corps Makes Tough Calls With Floods
For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, controversy comes with every action.
People take a look at Mississippi River floodwaters at the base of Beale Street in Memphis, Tenn.
Memphis Prepares For Historic Flooding

1927 Mississippi River flood. Location unknown.Flooding expected to soak towns from Illinois to the Gulf prompts comparisons to 1927's Great Flood
Along The Mississippi, An Old Sense Of Dread Rises

VICKSBURG, MS - MAY 18: A levee protects a home surrounded by floodwater from the Yazoo River May 18, 2011 near Vicksburg, Mississippi. The flooded Mississippi River is forcing the Yazoo River to top its banks where the two meet near Vicksburg causing towns and farms upstream on the Yazoo to flood. The Mississippi River at Vicksburg is expected to crest May 19. Heavy rains have left the ground saturated, rivers swollen, and have caused widespread flooding along the Mississippi River from Illinois to Louisiana. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

"Others, like Rusty Jenkins, displayed a sober realism about life in proximity to the Mississippi River. He’s a local attorney and owner of a port facility in Vidalia that's already underwater. But he makes no apologies for deciding to take risks with nature.
“You live on the river, you’re going to have good and bad with it," he said. “Just like you play the stock market. Sometimes you lose your butt, sometimes you win some money.”"

Queen Elizabeth II Visits Ireland, First Trip By British Monarch In 100 Years 

Ireland British
DUBLIN (AP) -- "Undeterred by real or fake bombs, Queen Elizabeth II on Tuesday began the first visit by a British monarch to the Republic of Ireland, a four-day trip to highlight strong Anglo-Irish relations and the success of Northern Ireland peacemaking.

Resplendent in a cloak of emerald green and a dress of St. Patrick's blue, the 85-year-old queen stepped out from a bombproof, bulletproof Range Rover outside the official residence of Irish President Mary McAleese. Irish Army artillery units fired a 21-gun salute as a military brass band played "God Save the Queen."
The painstakingly choreographed visit has been designed to highlight today's exceptionally strong Anglo-Irish relations and the slow blooming of peace in neighboring Northern Ireland following a three-decade conflict that left 3,700 dead.

The queen arrived 100 years after her grandfather George V visited Dublin and an Ireland that was still part of the British Empire."
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The STS-134 crew members are welcomed aboard the station.



Image: Commander Mark Kelly and the STS-134 crew are welcomed aboard the International Space Station by the Expedition 27 crew. Photo credit: NASA TV



Shuttle Brings Big-Bucks Magnet to Space Station. CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. May 18, 2011 (AP)

null"A mammoth cosmic ray detector arrived at the International Space Station on Wednesday, a $2 billion experiment that will search the invisible universe and help explain how everything came to be.
It's the most expensive cargo ever carried by a space shuttle and almost didn't make it to orbit before the fleet retires this summer. It was launched this week aboard Endeavour on the second-to-last flight.
Two astronaut teams were assigned to attach the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer to the outside of the space station on Thursday, using a pair of robot arms, where it will stay for the life of the outpost.

The scientists on Endeavour's crew said it will justify the scientific purpose of space station.
"It's in the same scale of importance as Hubble (Space Telescope)," astronaut Gregory Chamitoff said before the flight. "And it is going to be by far the biggest, most expensive and perhaps the most fundamentally valuable science apparatus we have on the space station."
Physicist Phil Schewe said the experiment is part of a centuries-long tradition of scientists exploring the building blocks of matter, from elements to atoms to subatomic particles.
"This is just a grand extension of trying to answer the question, why we have matter and what it is," said Schewe, a spokesman for the American Institute of Physics.

"Is this a big deal? Especially if they find something, yes it is."
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Jay and I left Ray alone in the cargo trailer while he did some intricate caulking on the Formica where the backsplash meets the countertop, and around other spaces that had little gaps.  I had bought some caulk that matched the Formica from the kitchen design center at Lowes. It was called Khaki, but it matched perfectly.

The baby/pet gate that I bought for $1, needed a little attention where the metal wire mesh was broken, so it had sharp dangerous points.  We fixed that by cutting that wire out and replacing it with a thin piece of Plexiglas, which fit in the slot where the wire was, and after drilling some holes in it, zip-tied it in place.
When Bobbiecat got her head caught in a scissor-type one, she panicked, pulled it loose from the doorway, and nearly strangled when it closed up on her, so I wanted the mesh type of gate  I expect they are outlawed by now. That one got relegated to being a lattice for plants.

Then Jay and I started to build the first dinette base, we have the framework done, and we found enough plywood to make both tops, but didn't get that far before it was time to quit for the day.


pidge said...

Is there someplace to go online to see exactly where the fires have been burning? We winter in Concan, Texas on the Frio river and I am wondering if any of the fires have been in that area. Thanks for all the info today.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Hi Pidge,
I added a map of the wildfires, which is supposed to update automatically.
It should enlarge when you click on it.

Stay out of harm's way, and have a good trip.