People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

We Love Nature But ...

... I'm not sure we want one of these little fellas in my back yard every night.

These two photos (above and below) were taken of a mature adult black bear (200 pounds?) standing on my patio at about 7:30 yesterday evening. He had just hauled down from a nearby poplar tree a bird feeder and devoured the suet cake inside. A tender morsel that cost me 92¢ plus tax at Wal-Mart.

He's seen here, wondering why Paula and I were interrupting his meal. (For the record, I was about thirty feet away)

We were able to convince him, after a considerable amount of coaxing, to head back into the Jefferson National Forest, which is just behind our house.

But he'll be back. We are now a food source. Or at least we were.

* A footnote: If you look really close at the second photo, you'll notice that his nose is crooked. Not sure what to make of that.

Such The Shame

People sometimes make stupid mistakes. And those mistakes cause permanent damage.

Case in point:
Wytheville judge pleads guilty
By Greg Esposito, Roanoke Times

A Wytheville judge accused of driving under the influence pleaded guilty Tuesday in Smyth County General District Court to a reduced charge of reckless driving.

Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Michael Keith Blankenship, 44, of Wytheville also pleaded guilty to refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test. He was fined $100 and his license was suspended for one year, according to the court clerk's office.

The conviction is in relation to an incident March 1. Blankenship was pulled over that evening on Interstate 81 between Chilhowie and Marion and charged with driving under the influence and refusal to take a Breathalyzer. (link)
Such the shame.

Do We Have a Plan B?

Well, our politicians bet the farm on the long-term prospects for the tourism industry in the area. And gasoline is four bucks a gallon. The blowback is all too predictable:
A high price to pay: Tourism takes hit as gas costs climb
By Bill Archer, The Bluefield Daily Telegraph

Princeton — When gas prices soared last year in advance of the summer travel season, the AAA released a survey indicating that the average cost per gallon of regular gas was $3.10 on May 17, 2007. On Monday, the AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report revealed that the average cost for a gallon of regular gasoline in West Virginia hit the $3.93 mark, higher than the national average of $3.79 per gallon and up .34 cents from last month and .72 cents higher than it was a year ago.

“We have seen a drop-off in the number of visitors here, and sales in our craft shop are down,” Valerie Hendricks, supervisor of the West Virginia Tourism Information Center in Princeton said. “When the price of gasoline went up last year, we expected to see a drop, but we didn’t. Truly, this year, we are already seeing it for the first time.” (link)
This is only the beginning. The price of oil set another record high today. Gasoline will necessarily follow suit.

To think of the millions that have been spent on the tourism industry in the last few decades. All for nought.

It was so predictable. And such a waste.

When It Comes Down To Crunch Time ...

Wouldn't you rather have knowledge and experience over audacity and bluster?

The depth of Barack Obama's ignorance on critical national matters - revealed in this You Tube video - is shocking:

I fear more and more for my country every day.

Click on the triangle to activate.

Hollywood Has Gone Mad

For all you investors out there looking for a sure thing: Bet on Big Brown and the Triple Crown.

But please don't waste your money on those losers who keep coming in last:
DePalma Reups on Iraq War

Brian DePalma isn’t one to give up easily ... Skewered last year by conservative critics for the box-office flop “Redacted,” the controversial director is returning to the Iraq war as the subject matter of his next picture.

That’s the news from Cannes, where Canadian distribution company Film Farm says it will back two new DePalma pictures: the director’s next Iraq attack and a more conventional political thriller with a higher budget.

DePalma, who got into a public spat with his previous distributor over last year’s low-budget, cinéma vérité flick about battlefield atrocities committed by a group of U.S. soldiers, plans to title his newest project “Print the Legend.”

This time around, the director is basing his script on the true-life story of U.S. Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch, whose capture and subsequent rescue in Iraq was later revealed to have been greatly exaggerated by the Pentagon.

Lynch’s story has previously been lifted for an NBC movie titled “Saving Jessica Lynch” that was slammed by its protagonist for inaccuracy.

“Redacted,” which drew the ire of both movie critics and pundits, including Bill O’Reilly and Michael Medved, was budgeted at around $5 million but grossed less than $70,000 at the U.S. box office during its brief and disappointing run. (link)
"Redacted" having grossed $70,000, makes it one of the worst movies in history. So this brilliant Hollywood superstar wants to go for "Redacted II." And he'll probably get plenty of monetary support in doing it.

I hope he's as successful with his second venture as he was with his first.

It Doesn't Take a Rocket Scientist ...

... to draw a correlation between yesterday's headline and today's news.


White House Says NBC Distorted Bush Response

Fox wins TV season crown
Strike, DVRs cause record ratings drop
By Rick Kissell, Variety

The writers strike, along with the rising popularity of DVRs and the increased availability of programming on multiple platforms conspired to make this the lowest-rated season on record for the [network] broadcasters.

Of course, the broadcasters have been losing audience share to cable for years -- but this season saw the most troubling year-to-year declines yet.

In a season when overall television usage among young adults was up slightly, the top five English-language broadcast networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and CW) will finish down 10% in adults 18-49 rating (14.1 vs. 15.6). And their overall audience average (41.5 million viewers) is off 7% from the 2006-07 campaign (44.8 million), according to Nielsen.

By comparison, ad-supported cable rose by 9% in 18-49 rating (17.4 vs. 15.9) and by 7% in total viewers (51.6 million vs. 48.1 million). (link)
The formerly Big Three are nothing more than anachronisms these days. Sometimes painful to watch, at other times beneath contempt. Still others the programming provided is so intentionally adolescent that one turns the station in disgust. Then there is the bias in the news division ...

So their world is crumbling around them. And they still wonder why.