Monday, February 26, 2007

Mom, There's Nothing To Do!

I am sometimes asked by people if there is a way that they can volunteer at the
Forest Preserve District of DuPage County. Indeed there is. The District receives many hours of work donated by thousands of individuals that is the equivalent of over $1 million dollars. This allows the District to improve the quality of our preserves and provide many educational opportunities that we would not otherwise have.

What can you do? First, contact our volunteer services at (630) 933-7681. We offer several opportunities, such as natural resource restoration, animal keeper, naturalist, farm hand, bird and amphibian monitor, visitor center attendant, docent, gardener, trades demonstrator, and much more. If you have a particular skill, I would encourage you to let us know. One need that I obtained from my planning department would be for someone with CAD skills to document many of our older buildings that were built before we used computers. (Ok, I'm guessing that we don't even have blueprints for some of those buildings.) There are opportunities for you on work days if you can't commit to a years time. We can even accomodate a group outing, if your church, service organization, or local youth group needs a project.

To get a better idea of what is available, you should read The Spirit, our volunteer's newsletter. Then come out for a new way to enjoy our preserves.

Labels: ,

Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Conservationist

If you want to know what is going on at the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, you should subscribe to The Conservationist. The District puts out this publication four times a year. It contains a calendar of events that lets you know what is going on in our preserves for three months at a time. The Conservationist also has articles about the plants and animals in our preserves. I learn something new every time I get a new issue.

Best of all, it is free for anyone that lives in DuPage County. To subscibe, just call the District at 630-933-7085 or send an email letting us know that you want it with your address to

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

C'mon Guys, It's Just A Joke

Sometimes real life is too funny. What else can you think when Congress is holding a hearing to examine if human activity is causing global warming, only to have it postponed because of ice and snow.

And I wonder if Mother Nature cringed as much as I, when Al Gore was spouting off about how Hurricane Katrina and all of the others were caused by global warming and that we can only expect more each year and more severe at that. I guess Mother Nature felt Al had to be put in his place, when the next year had a significant drop in the number of tropical storms and not one was a class 4, much less a class 5 hurricane.
Tomorrow the high is suppose to be 16 degrees F, when 16 degrees F is the average low for our area.
When meteorologists can't accurately predict next Wednesday's weather, I don't have a lot of confidence in a group of scientists that come up with a 90% certainty that we are driving climate change and that we are going to most likely increase temperatures in 2100 by 4 degrees C. Now I don't dismiss global warming out of hand as the 'lunacy of the loony left,' there are many issues to be addressed. But 90% certainty to a scientist means he generally knows where to look, not that he has found what he's looking for. For those of you who need to have a visual, 90% certainty looks a lot like this:

Saturday, February 10, 2007

A Different Perspective

This is what the shuttle launch looks like from the space station.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Does That Flight Include The Peanut Snacks?

I get the concept that the Speaker of the House needs a bit of security. So I am not offended by her using a military flight to get back to San Fransisco when she needs to. However, given the Democratic Party's complaints over Member perks and Speaker Pelosi's promise to see that "...the taxpayer's money is handled appropriately.", it seems a bit odd that she is requesting such a large plane. You know, a C-32, the one that seats 42 passengers, takes 16 crew members to fly, has a fully equipped state room, including a bed, a complete home entertainment center, etc. Oh yeah, it costs about $300,000 to fly from Washington D.C. to San Fransisco.

That compares with the plane that Denny Hastert used. That plane (a C-21, essentially a Gulfstream jet [did you notice the Golden Gate Bridge in the picture?]) only requires 5 crew members and has room for 9-12 passengers. I am sure that it is also nicely equipped, but I don't see how it could have a full state room, etc. (I haven't been able to find out the round-trip cost for this plane, but it is safe to assume that it is substantially less. And don't get me started on the CO2 emission difference, I mean global warming and all.)

The Speaker is saying that the reason she wants the larger plane is so she can have a nonstop flight. Having to refuel in say, Chicago, is a bummer. Especially, if for security reasons, they don't let her deplane to buy something in the duty-free shops. Now having to refuel seems odd too, because the C-21 has a reported flight range of over 4,500 miles. I checked MapQuest for a trip by car from Washington D.C. to San Fransisco and the distance was 2,818.63 miles. I am sure there is a reasonable explanation.

Then there is Rep. John Murtha making veiled threats. Murtha is convinced the Pentagon has been leaking the possibility that Pelosi would use larger planes to make her look bad. But he said, "They're making a mistake when they leak it because she decides on allocations for them.'' I say, let's hear it for transparent government!