And still people ask me why I like animals more than people…

It was rainy and warm this morning. Ideal weather for finding a turtle on the move this time of year. I even made a point of going back in the house to grab a rain jacket in case I came across one of the local eastern box turtles on the road in need of a hand.

I found one, a fully grown adult, sitting at the edge of the blacktop a few hundred yards from the turn out from my neighborhood. Three massive cracks in his shell, no response to stimuli. I’m guessing he took a glancing blow from a tire – enough pressure to crack the shell, but not enough to crush him. I’m not sure why I bothered to check if he was alive after seeing the damage done. Even if it weren’t the still early hours of the morning, there’s no place within an hour’s drive that could have treated him. I suppose I could have at least offered a quick end to his suffering.

Two more miles on, there was another, splitting the double yellow line. This one was crushed beyond any reason to consider stopping. I drove on, with quietly building rage leaching out into every cell of my not insubstantial body.

Look, I’m a carnivore. I don’t have any moral objection to steak or bacon. Killing an animal for sustenance is an act as old as our species. If you’re going to kill something, you’d damned well better have the intention of eating it, though. Otherwise, you’re just a sick fuck getting his rocks off on causing pain and suffering because you can.

Turtles are the very definition of a harmless animal – they don’t destroy your crops or your yard. They aren’t going to eat your cat or endanger your livestock. Their only mission in life is to walk around foraging for their next meal and making little turtles. That’s it. One, or probably both of these boxies was killed by someone who had to make the conscious decision to do so. The fact that it’s illegal to drag this kind of person out of their vehicle and beat them to bloody death with a tire iron is what I consider possibly the biggest flaw in the American legal system.

I’ve seen articles that say climate change could wipe out humanity or at least kill us off by the billions… frankly that doesn’t sound like the worst possible outcome I could imagine.

Monsoon season…

As it turns out it’s monsoon season here in the mid-Atlantic. Something something climate change, something something global warming, something something fake news. I’m sure there are a wide ranging set of reasons this summer as gone directly from cold and rainy to oven baked, and is now shifting gears back to torrential downpours. I find none of those reasons particularly interesting. Mostly because none of them lead to a long stretch of days that we could reasonably describe as “temperate.” I think at this point I may even be willing to settle for “seasonal.”

We’re two months through “summer,” and I’ve only had the top off a handful of times – worse yet, the doors have been firmly installed since I put them back on last September. That’s no kind of life for a Jeep. I mean if you’re not going to drive it up to the fender wells in mud, the very least you can do is strip it down to the bare essentials and enjoy the open air. Except, sadly, you need the air to also cooperate with this plan.

We’ll see what August brings, but given recent history I’m not overly optimistic. I have a terrible feeling that the last, best hope for good Jeep weather this year will be in finding a long Indian summer and trying to hold on to it a little too long. This late in topless driving / monsoon season I suppose I’ll have to take what I can get.

Climate and weather…

Over the weekend, the world’s governments trumpeted their having reached an accord on a theoretical way ahead on slowing down global climate change – what we like to call Global Warming.

I’m sure it’s just coincidence, but this weekend it was also just shy of 70 degrees. It’s very nearly the middle of December. Whatever else it is, the temperatures here on the east coast are certainly an anomaly.

Now I’m smart enough  know there is a huge chasm of difference between local weather and the overall climate. Still, if there is any chance that temperatures like these in mid-December is in some way related to climate change, maybe we should be quite so hasty to try rolling it back. I mean sitting in the porch in shorts and a tee shirt on December 13th isn’t exactly all bad.

Sure potential for the 115 degree summers could be problematic in this part of the world, but just now I’m enjoying the hell out of early fall weather in the middle of winter.

Cold, colder, coldest…

The media have made a great story out of the grave menace to our way of life posed by the Polar Vortex of Doom. Rightly so, I suppose. It is cold out there after all. But there’s gohomearcticyouredrunksomething that’s been nagging at me since the early hours of this morning. I mean aside from vaguely wondering if I shouldn’t have left a faucet running while I was at work.

It was cold last night – somewhere in the low teens when I took the dogs out for last call around 10PM. A little after 6 this morning, I took them out again and discovered that it was still cold. It was still cold to the tune of about 3 degrees. The wind felt like it was blowing at more or less the same speed from more or less the same direction. On both occasions, I was more than well aware that it was, by my own definition, cold as blue hell. However, I can’t say that 3 degrees at 6AM felt substantively colder than 13 degrees at 10PM. This all leads me to believe at some level cold is simply cold.

There’s probably some very scientific method of proving that people sense degrees of coldness in different ways, but based on my purely unscientific experience over the last 24 hours, I’d be hard pressed to confirm that. I’m willing to go ahead and make a concession that I would probably be able to tell -30 from 10, but in a narrower range, it all just feels like worse than average cold to me. Then again, I’m not a devotee of cold weather. At best I consider the cold something to be avoided, hidden from, and beaten back using all the home heating weapons at your disposal… but really, unless I’m going to be stuck in it for hours on end, I don’t need gradations of cold. Unless there’s a tragic accident, I’m not going to be in it long enough to do more than notice that “sweet baby Jesus it’s cold out here.” That makes discussions of cold, colder, and coldest pretty much academic by my standards.