Monday, April 27, 2009

USAF Discontinues Pelosi's Gulfstream G5--Offers Alternatives

The United States Air Force announced today the discontinuation of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's unlimited use of their Gulfstream G-5 jet aircraft. Pelosi has hammered "greedy" CEO's for their use of such luxury jets, and often positions herself as an ardent environmentalist committed to reducing America's carbon footprint. Yet, press leaks of staff email have revealed near temper tantrums when the Air Force has balked at providing her these jets on demand, the same jets used by CEO's and Hollywood stars.

Now, the USAF has drawn a line in the sand on the use of G-5's, but offered Pelosi some alternatives.

The first, pictured below is the Nimbus 2001. The vehicle is 100% environmentally friendly, powered by the same magic used by President Obama to lower taxes, balance the budget, escalate the war in Afghanistan, increase social spending, and give $4 trillion of aid to the banking, insurance and auto industries.

In addition, since Pelosi's staff cite security of the Speaker and her family as rationale for the use of the G-5, the Air Fore also pointed out that when properly piloted, the Nimbus 2001 can take on any foe, including the much-feared Death Eaters, especially when accompanied by a squadron of Flying Monkeys. The Flying Monkeys were purchased from the Land of Oz, where Obama's foreign policy was developed and use no fossil fuels.

For shorter flights, the Air Force offered the "Gulch-cycle". This handy device is powered by wind, but usually requires a tornado to become fully airborne. It has handy baskets and assessories which can be used by the Speaker to transport small dogs or emergency supplies of Botox.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


A quick update on two of the bigger changes on the northern Dare Beach scene...

...The new Captain George's is almost done, complete with native Outer Banks Palm Trees.

The former Slammin' Sammy's is now a Dirty Dick's and looks like this. They opened about a week ago.

We'll try to catch up in about two weeks and look at Viva Mexican Grill, Island Deli, and Pamlico Jack's, which was Penguin Isle. The ownership has not changed, just the theme.

OBX Bike Week 2009--Day 2

[I would recommend you click on all pictures to get a closer look! All of these were taken at the Vertigo Tattoo site in Mann's Harbor, NC]

This sign made me cry!

I cried again here...

Wine Spectator sent writers to cover the beer offerings at Vertigo Tattoo in Mann's Harbor, NC

Some former Wall Street Investment Bankers going over the day's market results

I was serving on a Nags Head town committee when the subject of the first or second proposed "Bike Week" came before us. There were some mixed feelings and some members expressed the usual concerns about "bikers". Town officials had thoroughly researched the proposal and informed us that they felt the organizers were cooperative and the event would provide a nice shot in the arm for the local economy.

There were some refinements over the next two years, and the event sponsors continued to work closely with all local governments and public safety officials. The result is what we saw this weekend; an event now seven years old that sported at least twice the number of participants as last year; more and more merchants participating and profiting from the visitors, and four days of watching in awe as some of the most beautiful bikes in country are displayed. I look forward to this event each year--it is the new unofficial kickoff to the tourist season!

Custom bikes everywhere.....

Dare County Shrine Club BBQ Booth...

More hogs....

Thursday, April 23, 2009

OBX Bike Week 2009-Day 1

With the exception of one year, it seems we always have great weather for Bike Week. I only made one stop today, and that was at Hooter's. I have no idea what the function of the girl was above, in the very small bikini above. But, she seemed to be doing whatever she was doing very, very well. My biggest regret is that I did not have Muller's or OBX Beachhugger's camera for those perfectly exposed shots.
One thing I learned today was that the proper attire to wear when washing a Harley is stiletto heels, as the above depicts.

Although, wearing flip-flops doesn't seem to detract from the worker's ability to perform the task at hand....

Stuff that Confuses Me

Yes, yes. I promise I will get back to writing about Outer Banks things shortly, so bear with me. Things have been busy as I transition to a couple of new jobs.

While in Virginia Beach (where I took and passed my NC State Mortgage Loan Officer's Exam), I noticed this storefront on the way back to my mother's house. No, not the church, but the business next to it. I realize in a free economy, just about any service is for sale, and there seems to be someone who can always fill a slot, not matter how specialized. We have businesses that do nothing but grind tree stumps, and even one that processes the only mud from a special river in Pennsylvania that can be used to coat Official Major League baseballs.

But who would think to combine thee two services below under one specialty roof? (You do need to click on the picture and enlarge to see the entire name of this establishment). How often does one find themselves in need of a carton of Camel's and a new hair trimmer? Gotta wonder.

And then there is packaging...

Same exact type of envelope, same quantity, even the same product code. Did the envelopes get that much thinner from their previous state? Did I miss a bonus prize in the larger box? I don't know, but it sure makes me wonder...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day

In observance of Earth Day, I did, as the Nickelodeon channel has reminded me every five minutes, turn off ALL the lights in my house at 9 PM. That's right, at 9 PM Alaska Daylight Time (AKDT), which is, of course, 1 AM EDT, my house was completely dark on April 22nd.

If one thinks this was less than a sacrifice, let me also remind you that in my universe, its always 5PM somewhere....

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New York Yankees

Wow. Now my critic says I am not only a bad photographer, but UGLY too!! So, this post will both confirm his diagnosis, yet express a sentiment at the same time with which he probably agrees. Yankee fans please come to the OBX, spend your money, and have a good time. And always remember that on April 18, 2009 you lost to the Cleveland Indians 22-4.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's Ocean

OK, so one of my critics thinks I'm a lousy photographer using my $100 point and shoot. Oh well! Here is Today's Ocean, wind from the NNE with gusts up to 35 mph...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Obama--No More War on Terror

According to numerous press reports worldwide, the Obama Administration has banned the use of the phrases "Long War on Terror", "Global War on Terror", or simply "War on Terror". Apparently, an email was sent to Executive office staff informing them to no longer use such terms, and suggested the phrase "Overseas Contingency Operations" be substituted in all public speeches, press releases, and official memorandum.

It is widely assumed Obama will next ban the term "terrorism", replacing it with the more benign phrase "Really Violent Behavioral Acts that Might Require Overseas Contingency Operations As A Possible Response". This is not to be confused with the War in Afghanistan, which Obama fully supports and is in the process of escalating, noting that while Bush was totally wrong with regard to Iraq posing a danger to America, a sneak attack by Afghanistan on the United States is highly likely, especially if the Taliban Air Force can extend the range of their balsa wood drones powered by "really big rubber bands".

All of this is an attempt by Obama to tone down the rhetoric in the former War on Terror in hopes of opening dialog with our enemies.

An Al-Qaeda representative, speaking on background from Nancy Pelosi's Gulfstream G-5, responded that in return, Al-Qaeda will no longer use the term "jihad", henceforth labeling their former acts of terror as "Pre-Planned Operations of Self-Martyrdom That If Responded To By The Infidel's Overseas Contingency Operations Will Be Dealt With By Our Own Hastily Concocted Yet Deadly Overseas Counter- Contingency Operations".

He then rejoined Pelosi for a dinner of dates and tea on her personal military jet while they both cursed former President Bush's camels and called for a plague upon his fig trees.

Red Sox Fans Need Not Apply?

I know its called New York Pizza Pub, and I know the owners, the Gurski family, are transplants from that great state. But do you guys really want all those Red Sox fans, visiting from New England to be welcomed with this flag? I think not....

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Mackey's Ferry Peanuts--Jamesville, NC

If your arrival to the Outer Banks is from the north, you miss out on one of the rural pleasures of Southern living--great peanuts and their associated food products. As a child of Virginia, I have loved the standard shelled and redskin peanuts produced there and NC. Other Southern states, including Georgia also specialize in goobers, but I've always found VA and NC products to be the best.

If you are journeying here from points south and east (i.e, Raleigh, Georgia, South Carolina), you must travel NC State Hwy 64 east to get to the Outer Banks. Between Williamston, NC and Plymouth, NC (where the limited access 70 mph road picks up again) there is a little town named Jamesville, and it hosts Mackey's Ferry Peanuts.

Veteran OBX travelers may remember this store was located on the old part of Hwy 64 before the bypasses were completed. If you are traveling east, you have to make an easy U-turn just past the store to get there, and leaving the store, you need to go west a few hundred feet and make another easy U-turn to return east. Heading west, of course, no U-turn required.

My favorite product, as a peanut butter addict is their version on this great American food. I've tried many "natural" peanut butters made by so-called health food companies. They taste bland. The newer natural products touted by the big guys, like Jif, are still full of preservatives. This peanut butter is made right there on the premises (in fact, they were making some when I walked in).

The Mackey's batches are small, so its always fresh. Ingedients are simple; peanuts, sugar, molasses, and salt. Zero preservatives. While not a diet product, the caloric count is less than commercial PB, and there are no trans fats. Its available in creamy and crunchy. Those coming from the North may be able to find this at some of the produce stands in Currituck. Its about $6 a jar, so not cheap. Since there are no preservatives, it comes in a very "liquid" state--you must stir it at first use, and refrigerate it once opened. I can say, without hesitation, its the best peanut butter I've ever tasted, period!

Next up, my favorite type of peanut--the old salted-in-the-shell goober. This small bag was excellent, and most of the nuts are sourced from Eastern NC farms. The salt ratio was perfect, and not many duds in the lot. Little known fact, refrigerate these after opening also, they'll last longer. Unsalted is also available.

Mackey's also serves up boiled peanuts (an acquired taste, some tell me, but I love 'em if made correctly), brittle, blanched gourmet nuts in cans, and Spanish redskins from Virginia (my second favorite peanut variety). I didn't sample the boiled peanuts, so can't comment on their quality.

If I were heading to the OBX, I'd stop on my inbound leg, in order to have some great snacks for vacation, and then stop again on the way home to lay in a supply. Their online store will also let you give unique gifts to your friends all year 'round. Sure beats socks and a necktie.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Weekend--OBX Style

I could tell from the south bound traffic late Friday (returning from Va. Beach) that we were in for a great tourist Easter weekend. The Bypass today almost looked like a summer day, and the restaurants and stores were full. I spent a good part of the day driving around the Beach Road, settling on the Avalon Pier. Temperatures were right at 70 degrees, with light winds, making a perfect beach day. Water temps are still in the 50's, hence the wetsuits on the surfers.

Here's some pictures of the happenings there. As always, click an image to make larger.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rappin' Republican, with apologies to the Sugar Hill Gang

Much attention has focused on the new Chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, the former Lt. Governor of Maryland. Steele, the first African-American to chair the RNC, has brought much of this attention to himself, remarking that he would bring "an off the hook" message of the GOP as a party of conservative principles, applying those to "suburban-urban hip-hop settings". He also described Obama's budget stimulus "bling-bling" for folks who have been standing in line for years to obtain said bling.

We at the OBJ were lucky to obtain an audience with Steele, and our interview follows:

OBJ: Welcome, Chairman Steele.

MS: I would rather you refer to me as the "Super Bad MC of the RNC".

OBJ: Uh, no. You have stated that you want to bring the GOP's principles to the hip-hop nation. Let's take one issue, family values. How will the new-look GOP position this issue?

MS: Well, its like this. Hotel, motel, Holiday Inn. If your girl starts actin' up, then you take her friend".

OBJ: Isn't that a departure from the GOP's position on stable family units?

MS: No sir. That is a traditional value. The man calls the shots, and if the ho' can't get down with that, move along.

OBJ: Critics say our food supply is in great danger. How will the urban GOP nation handle this?

MS: Have you ever went over to a friends house to eat, and the food just ain't no good? I mean the macaroni's soggy, the peas are mushed, and the chicken tastes like wood?

OBJ: Not really. But go on.

MS: You find the sucker food producer, then you go 'hotel, motel, what you gonna do today?

OBJ: Say what?

MS: Then you get a fly girl, get some spanking, drive off in a def OJ.

When you find that food gangsta, you drive-by him from the back of that def OJ. Which, since we're Republicans would more likely be a Lexus or perhaps a BMW.

Two or three examples of street justice, food problem solved.

OBJ: And how about foreign policy? For example, Iran's President Ahmadinejad?

MS: Bush's problem was that he didn't put these issues to the people in a way that resonated with the street. You don't invade a country because they maybe have some weapons. Hell, everyone's got weapons on the street. But, if you tell America that this dude is dissing our country, trying to put a hood over your woman, disrespecting hip-hop music--then, no one cares if you put a cap in him. Same thing goes for that punk Chavez. Sucker thinks he's got game?

OBJ: Some within the GOP say that it was a mistake to elect you, especially after you insulted Rush Limbaugh and his 20 million listeners. How do you respond?

MS: I go to the halls and then ring the bell, because I am the Chairman with the clientele, and if you ask me why I rock so well, a big bang--I got the clientele. And if the sucker Rush tries to chump my style, I let him know that I'm versatile.

OBJ: And your views on President Obama?

MS: He may be very sexy, or even cute, but he looks like a sucker in a dark blue suit.

OBJ: Any parting words?

MS: My name is known all over the word, by all the Fox News ladies, those pretty girls. I'm going down in his-to-ry, as the baddest damned chairman of the RNC.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Cook Out Restaurant-Strike One!

Click picture for larger image

I first heard of Cook Out restaurants from my brother-in-law in Greensboro. There are four fast food varieties I seek out with the same zeal a restaurant reviewer chases fine dining experiences. The four groups are: burgers, hot dogs, eastern NC BBQ, and pizza.

Supposedly, Cook Out burgers taste just like the one's you cook out yourself at home. Hank Hill's bias aside, I assume this to mean a burger that taste charcoal-grilled, versus propane flavored or cooked on a hot griddle. They are built as drive-thru only, a la Checkers and Rally's.

So, on my way back from Charlotte, I kept noticing huge Cook Out billboards all the way up I-85 north. As luck would have it, I hit Burlington, NC at around noon, and since I always stop there for cigars, I decided to try one out for lunch. I ordered the cheeseburger and double onion-rings (made from flax seed, Willo). The cigar store was three exits up, so I decided to wolf down my burger on the interstate.

After a 1o-minute wait in the drive-thru and another 1o minutes fighting traffic in Burlington at noon, I hit the Interstate and opened the box, anticipation almost reaching a crescendo of drool. Too bad it was a BBQ with cole slaw and incredibly mushy fries. The Coke, however, was good. The BBQ, average. How hard is it to screw up an order in a drive-thru only restaurant? Oh well, God never promised every day would be easy, and things could be worse. I could be unemployed. Oh wait, I am! And while I don't drink liberally from the cup of Al Gore, why does anyone still serve food in styrofoam like stuff that can't be recycled?

First impressions are important, and Cook Out failed on their first try. There's one in Raleigh, I'll give them another chance later. In the interim, I'd love some feedback from the NC crowd on whether it would be worth my while..

Local Branded (Sea)food--Makes Sense

Mattamuskeet Sweet Onions
are finding a market! Now let's brand our local seafood!

I've been out of pocket for a few days, traveling to Charlotte for a cram course in mortgage broker pre-licensing. More on that later, but expect a raft of posts over the next few days.

I have been meaning to write this since the article appeared in the April 1st Outer Banks Sentinel under the headline "Local Fishermen eye 'branding' local seafood". The survival of the local fishing industry has been a long-term interest of the Sentinel and its editor, Sandy Seamans. All of us who reside here should be concerned with the local seafood industry.

For too long we have relied upon tourism (and its twin sisters, real estate and construction) as the sole determining aspect of our economic well-being. While we will never supplant tourism as the primary engine driving the economy, we certainly could do more to enhance other local industries.

The Outer Banks is a brand name, in and of itself. It is recognized up and down the east coast, and we should be able to leverage that recognition in ways other than tourism. And, by using the term "Outer Banks", I would expand the definition to include surrounding counties engaged in fishing, farming, and eco-tourism, at least in cooperation among the various communities in promoting such products.

Our local seafood should be branded, not only on restaurant menus and signage, but at local seafood stores, and in packaged food sold in fish markets up and down the East Coast. I'd love to read an interview with a chef in the New York Times referring to Outer Banks shrimp, or Outer Banks fresh Wahoo. I would love to see New Yorkers returning home from vacation and demanding Outer Banks seafood from their fishmongers. The local seafood industry is right in considering this option, and they should implement it as soon as practical. But it should be done professionally and with a staff that works to promote the brand. Simply slapping a logo on a bag of shrimp isn't going to create a brand or achieve the desired result.

I envision much the same with our farm products. We should discover a method where local restaurants in Dare and Tidewater seek out fresh vegetables and other produce from our farms. Have you ever consumed a "new potato" better than those grown locally? And why has the northeastern North Carolina version of "farm sausage" never been marketed? Its one of the best foods you'll ever consume for breakfast, but around here, all you'll see on a menu is standard links and patty sausage from all over the US, courtesy of Sysco and other food suppliers. Locals are the only folks who seem to know about this sausage, which is absolutely delicious rolled up in some white bread with a slathering of mustard.

If there can be a Vidalia onion, or an Idaho potato, we can certainly come up with Outer Banks seafood, Tyrell new potatoes, and Edenton peanuts. Not everything we produce in the food chain need end its "life" as an unidentifiable ingredient on someones plate in Ohio, or mixed in a giant container of pre-packaged cole slaw.

The State government can help with this type of marketing, but there's no reason why local restaurants, farmers, and seafood industry folks couldn't form their own cooperatives, hire some employees, and put them to work promoting our seafood and crops. Makes a lot more sense than another industrial park! There could be an umbrella organization with one brand, and specialty products, like the Mattamuskeet Onion, pictured above, trading under a more specialized moniker.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Weeping Radish Brewery & Farm

You got up very early in the morning; perhaps around 4AM. Your destination-The Outer Banks. By the time you hit Moyock, NC, you can almost smell the salt air. When you make it to Grandy, you've completed 97% of your trip. Your instinct is to push on, get to the rental check in, grab your keys, and most of all--free those kids from the car!

But you know (or should know) that just south of Grandy the huge Sat/Sun traffic jam begins, and it runs all the way to the turn off in Southern Shores. Why sit in traffic and fume? You're probably hungry, and a chance to get out the car will calm your nerves for that traffic snarl ahead. The beach isn't going anywhere, and what I am about to recommend could actually be considered an early start to your vacation.

The Weeping Radish Farm & Brewery, just south of Grandy in the little village of Jarvisburg, is worth the effort.

Long term visitors to our area remember The Weeping Radish when it was located in Manteo, next to the Christmas Shop. The proprietor, Uli Bennewitz, has always been a man ahead of his time. The Weeping Radish was one of the first microbreweries in the country, perhaps even the first in this part of the South. The "Radish" was serving up its own brew a full ten years before the microbrewery craze was born.

Seven years ago, Uli began thinking about an integrated complex that would include the brewery, a restaurant, a butchery processing fresh meat, and an organic farm. Seven years ago, only the elite food magazines were touting a return to organic farming and chemical-free meats. In order to put all of this in one place, The Weeping Radish had to move to a rural area, and that lead him to Jarvisburg.

The intent here isn't to be a clone of the Weeping Radish restaurant. Instead, it is a place to buy the beer in bulk, tour the brewery and the organic farm, and buy the products--meats and produce. You can also eat lunch or dinner, which is a bonus.

The food here is excellent, and prepared with whatever is fresh that day--produce and meats. Although the heritage is German, the food isn't exclusively so. There are wraps, salads, appetizers and much more. Beer and root beer are made on the premises. On my two visits, I got hooked on the bratwurst; heated in a skillet of beer and onions and served over bread--a fork and knife experience. An appetizer of kielbasa over bread with a curry ketchup dip was extraordinary. If you are like me, with the exception of what we call "farm sausage" made in these parts, most of the meat you consume is full of preservatives and chemicals. When you bite into the meat here, you'll be experiencing something our grandfather's last remember--unadulterated food!

Stopping there on the way down you can buy a case of beer for your vacation, and stock up on all manner of freshly cut meats; all of which were cut by the Master German butcher on the premises. The entire gamut is available from German-style sausage to pastrami, natural skin hot dogs, and more. Fresh eggs come straight from the farm for lunch and dinner selections, and the kids will enjoy the animals adjacent to the parking lot.

Check out the web site before you leave for your vacation; you might even want to bring a small cooler to stock those meats for the last leg of the trip. The web site is all inclusive, and also features an video introduction from Uli. If you are on Facebook, they also have a new fan page.

I'm betting if you stop on the way down, you'll stop again on your way home!

Friday, April 3, 2009

One of Those Great Days

[As always, clicking on any image provides a much larger view)

While this winter/spring has seemed to be colder than most (on a day-to-day basis), we have had some spectacular breaks in the weather every month since December. Today kept that streak alive.

Spring brings an artist's palate of colors to the world, especially in the South. But not all of the colors arrive courtesy of Mother Nature. Here, at the Kellogg Supply Company on E. Atlantic in Kill Devil Hills, the new shipment of faux Adirondack plastic deck chairs (they fly like kites in our winds!) captured most of the basic colors, and then some.

With temperatures breaching the mid-70's, this couple found time to walk the beach, the male sans shirt. Others were sunbathing on blankets or reading books under umbrellas, although the wind posed a challenge. If you enlarge the picture above, you'll spot a wet suited surfer in the upper left quadrant.
The waves had beautiful form, like the ones above, and also packed a bit of a punch. Most were shore break, but the winds, when coming from the west, caused a few to form further out. Two surfers tried to ride those, but one had a difficult time getting out there, and the other found when waves did form further out, they broke so fiercely that the ride was either very short or very wiped out.

Driving home, I noticed that another new condo project, called Sea Holly Square is close to completion, just across from the Ramada Inn. I do believe these are being built by my old friends the Jernigan brothers, and they should run quite a bit less than the oceanfront condos going up further north. Some folks are running contrary to current wisdom, and I wish these guys the best in selling the units. They should rent well, and inexpensively, and are right across from beach accesses.

Below are the views from my back deck on a day like today. At the top is the front dune of Jockey's Ridge State Park (south of me), the other is the view to the northeast of the Atlantic Ocean. When I moved here 15 years ago, there were no pine trees here, it was all open dune that fed Jockey's Ridge with sand when north winds prevailed. Some local residents planted some hybrid pine trees some time ago, and these have all but destroyed the persimmon and oak trees that prevailed. I'm not sure what variety of pine these trees are, but they grow several inches a year, and even faster when young. They have eliminated almost all of the ocean views from our subdivision.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Creating The Future

For some time, a group of individuals have been meeting to discuss the future of the Outer Banks. Not to build more homes, or Wings, or developments. Instead, the focus has been on diversifying our economy, embracing technology, and find avenues for opposing interests to communicate and reach consensus.

The first group, called Dare 2020 looked ahead to that year and tried to envision our future. Slowly, over several years the group grew and morphed into an entity called the Creating The Future Initiative. The group, led by folks like Paul Tine, Jim Perry, and others turned to collaboration with local academic institutions, including COA, Elizabeth City State, ECU, and the Coastal Studies Institute.

The result was a seminar today at the Wright Memorial, with guest speakers addressing such diverse issues as robotics and its role in tourism, data collection, and even the threat of technology replacing most jobs. The Outer Banks is unique in that human beings are still required to make a resort town function. Scary.

Speakers from Renci, a company that uses technology, science, and input from other disciplines demonstrated how weather modeling can help predict future coastal geography (conclusion--buy swim fins and buckets...we're gonna need 'em!), plan coastal development, and improve survival rates from weather disasters. The company can apply this multi-disciplinary approach to virtually any issue affecting the quality of life in North Carolina where data, research and theory can be applied to modeling or empirical study.

The afternoon was dedicated to various break out sessions on topical interests such as: Environment vs Business, The Arts, Energy, Green Technology, and many, many more.

Students from First Flight High School demonstrated their own technological prowess with robots, including this small-scale model that can open and close the door of a submerged cage.

The centerpiece of the project will be a collaborative web site, set up in a moderated forum style, open to anyone in any place on this planet to contribute. For example, an engineer in Holland, where wind turbine use is high, might contribute insight to those locally interested in such matters. Members of coastal communities worldwide could weigh in on the pros and cons of beach nourishment, green building practices, or even something we have overlooked--perhaps high tech jobs where people move to the area but work at home via the computer and high-tech communications.

About 200 people were there, which I found impressive. Outer Bankers are open-minded folks, sometimes chaotic in their approach to problem solving, but we are always curious. The CFI provides a real opportunity to actually move beyond the talking stage, bring diverse viewpoints into consensus, and indeed, shape our own future. Many issues discussed today were along lines that might give business owners a stomach ache, but they were vetted nonetheless, and the atmosphere was cordial.

If you are interested in helping, no matter where you live, register and participate at

And, hearty congratulations to all individuals and organizations who came together to make today (and the future, via the web site) possible. I gave the day 3 thumbs up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


In a surprise decision, U.S District Court Judge T. Boils has ruled that all beach swimming in Dare County has been banned. The suit seeking the decision was brought by the Southern Environmental Law Center.

Judge Boils, known for his insightful analysis and reliance on facts supported by solid scientific empirical data was apparently swayed by the arguments presented by S.E.L.C. in conjunction with their research partners--Mrs. Smith's 3rd grade class at Cape Hatteras Elementary. They convinced the Court that the presence of so many swimmers in the water during the summer was contributing to sea level rise and threatening not only the Outer Banks, but island nations in the Pacific. The third grade class' evidence was overwhelming, and our crack reporting team was there, and presents the data here.

First, they displayed a glass, half-filled with cola to the Judge.

Next, they added several ice cubes to the glass, with the following result:
The 3rd graders explained that each ice cube represented one human beach swimmer, and with the addition of each cube, the level of liquid in the glass rose. The same effect, said the children, occurred along our beaches, with the result that water, seeking its own level, had no where to go but onto the beach as each swimmer entered.

The 3rd graders then presented more evidence which clearly showed human caused sea level rises increasing in Dare County correlated with the documented increase in the number of visitors to our beaches, as well as the fact that like most Americans, our beach visitors were becoming more obese, thereby displacing more water volume per human. This was demonstrated by putting more, and heavier ice cubes in a glass during a second demonstration. The cola spilled over the top of the glass and shorted the Judge's microphone, resulting in a short recess.

This group of researchers, incidentally, were the same group of children who conducted S.E.L.C's Piping Plover-ORV studies while part of Miss Jones' 1st Grade class, two years ago.