Where (some) electricity comes from

View from the employee parking lot at the local nuke station.

I shall make electricity so cheap that only the rich can afford to burn candles. – Thomas Edison

Electricity is actually made up of really tiny particles called electrons that you cannot see with the naked eye unless you have been drinking. – Dave Barry

Electricity is really just organized lightning. – George Carlin

With electricity we were wired into a new world, for electricity brought the radio, a “crystal set” and with enough ingenuity, one could tickle the crystal with a cat’s whisker and pick up anything. – T.H. White

Electricity is the power that causes all natural phenomena not known to be caused by something else. – Ambrose Bierce

Sound advice from Rudyard

by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream – and not make dreams your master;
If you can think – and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build ’em up with wornout tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings – nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run –
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
And – which is more – you’ll be a Man my son!

The new meaning of middle class

The eagle in the attic.

I was stopped at a traffic light in Salisbury, Mass., and I looked up into the highest window of an old house by the road. The funny thing was, I was out looking for bald eagles. This was the first one I saw that day.

Reading the paper, I see there will be a pro-Wisconsin-workers rally in Portsmouth this Saturday (at least it’s not during a “work” day). The spokesperson interviewed for the story says her sign will read “Protecting working families and the middle class.”

“There are some very dangerous things happening in the Legislature, and people, I think, feel really distressed,” said Stradtman, who has a history of local political activism. “We have the opportunity to make a statement and are feeling more confident in the ability to push back.”

State legislation proposed by the N.H. GOP majority includes calls for pension reform and the ability for workers to decide whether they wish to join labor unions.

Apparently, the new meaning of “working families” and “middle class” is public sector union activists (and DNC activists who don’t want a major source of campaign funding to dry up) focused on protecting their own pay, benefits, and collective bargaining “rights” at the expense of everybody else whose taxes fund public sector jobs. (See James Taranto: The Means of Coercion.)

Speaking of “rights,” I think it’s practically criminal that many workers cannot choose to whether or not to join a union. And in New Hampshire (as in Wisconsin) public sector union dues are automatically withheld from paychecks. Of course that money is spent trying to elect Democrats, whether or not individual union members want that.

Follow the money, Washington reporters like to say. The money in this case comes from taxpayers, present and future, who are the source of every penny of dues paid to public employee unions, who in turn spend much of that money on politics, almost all of it for Democrats. In effect, public employee unions are a mechanism by which every taxpayer is forced to fund the Democratic Party.

The woman in the article is a “mother of two” – just like me! (But why does it matter?) I’m pretty sure I recognize her photo as someone I saw during health care demonstrations and “town halls” a year and a half ago, maybe holding a “Thank you, Carol Shea-Porter” sign.

Well, New Hampshire voters thanked Carol right out of a job last November. The unpopular health care law (and the way it was passed), along with the bailouts, failed stimulus, unemployment, and insane national (and state) debt, is the reason New Hampshire voters sent unprecedented numbers of Republicans to Concord and Washington last November – just like Wisconsin did.

Now these legislators are doing what they said they would do. (And voters would be pretty irate if they didn’t.) That’s how representative democracy works. Thank God (and knock on wood) we’re not a protest-rally-ocracy. At least not yet.

(Oh look, our local mother of two is a “grassroots organizer” for Organizing for America. And has demonstrated with SEIU. And was involved with SEIU-funded Health Care For America Now and OFA. Simple reporter question: is she paid to be a grassroots mother-of-two activist?)

MA Dem rep to unions: Time to ‘get bloody’
MoveOn 50-state mobilization, Saturday at noon

Fool that I was, upon my eagle’s wings
I bore this wren, till I was tired with soaring,
And now he mounts above me. – John Dryden


My husband looked at this photo and said, “Gear down.” How did he know the seagull’s feet are my favorite part?

This was the day I went looking for an eagle, on photo safari. The best part of the trip, besides finding an eagle (they winter near the Merrimack River), was looking into open air and sunshine, letting the light come into my eyes and brain.

In winter I’d like to live in a glass house. At the edge of the ocean.


What a mug!

I met this sea bass today at The Science and Nature Center at Seabrook Station, our local nuclear power plant. I’m writing an article on the center for the April issue of NH To Do magazine.

The sea bass merely tolerated my presence but the two flounder were positively gregarious, crowding up to the glass and following me all around the tank. Eels: kinda creepy. Giant blue lobster: cool. Learning about nuclear energy: also cool.