Seen This Week

Javelinas

Wednesday was trash day.  Down the street a dozen javelinas had toppled a large trash container into the road and, ignoring the passing cars (one of which stopped, probably to take a phone photo), were gobbling as quickly as possible, nuzzling around each other like a swarm of bees.  A couple of hours later, when I drove by, the owner was sweeping up the mess, obviously disgruntled.

Bobcats

3 bobcats 0173 bobcats 0153 bobcats 010Wednesday afternoon I was on my deck cutting back some vines that had died from the frost when there was a terrible hullabaloo in the yard.  At first I thought it had to be javelinas, because of the racket, but they wouldn’t be in the yard.  Then I saw them – two bobcats fighting.  I ran for my camera and dashed outside.  The fight had ended but I discovered three bobcats!  One was in the tree, one was on the top of my wall, and the third decided to move farther away, strolling up to the front of the house.  But all of them posed when I asked them to.  (Look at the size of those paws!)  A guy I work with thought that two were males fighting over the one female.

Thursday

A woman was in a sleeveless top, walking her dog.  The weather had changed.

Record Cold

Last week when I was in Virginia, Tucson had a spate of record cold temps.  Saturday’s official low was 26°; the high was only 46°.  Sunday 24°, 48°.  Monday 22°, 43°.   I got back home on Monday morning to a note from my house-sitter that the drip system had exploded, as well as that of my next-door-neighbors (visiting grandkids in California); she shut both down.  A guy fixed mine today – three parts broken, $$$.

Tuesday morning I had no water.  The temperature had dropped to 18°, breaking the old record low for the date, the high only 47°.  Tucson Water received more than 100 calls from customers with frozen pipes.  I checked their web site and found that I should have insulated the pipes and left one faucet dripping.  The pipes thawed by quarter to eleven, and then I wrapped them with towels and duct tape, like closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.  And Tuesday night I left a faucet dripping in the kitchen, into a bucket so I could water my potted plants.

The weather service issued another hard-freeze warning for Wednesday.  (Its low and high were 25°, 60°.  For five days running the average temp was only 37°; I’ll bet the tourists around the pool weren’t happy!)  At least the chill in the air has kept the air-conditioner off in my car and my mileage now tops 29 mpg.

But I guess our winter is over.  Today’s high was 73°!

Entitlements

During the entire fiscal cliff debacle Republicans said they wanted deep cuts to entitlement spending.  They’re talking about Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and so on.  When I think of entitlements, I think not of the government benefits that 49% of Americans receive (including me, with Medicare and Social Security), but of all of the entitlements that rich people, and people with power acquire.  For example, Harvard, Yale and other Ivy schools have a preference for “legacy” students.  (This from Wikipedia.)

Legacy preferences or legacy admission is a type of preference given by educational institutions to certain applicants on the basis of their familial relationship to alumni of that institution.  Derek Bok, former Harvard University president, found “the overall admission rate for legacies was almost twice that for all other candidates.”

This is how George W. Bush got into Yale, even with his SAT scores of 1206, 200 points below Yale’s average freshman in 1970.  Possibly his father and grandfather having been Yale graduates helped?  (As a student, W studied in the Yale library’s Prescott Walker Bush Memorial Wing.)  He only graduated Yale in 1968 with a 2.35 GPA but managed to get into Harvard Business School after having been rejected from admission at University of Texas Law School.  (Today’s Harvard students average a GPA of 3.5 – no students are accepted with a GPA lower than 2.6.)1

Anyway, those are entitlements.  Not having to take your shoes off at an airport and have your toothpaste taken away ‘cause the tube’s too big is not a problem if you have your own jet.  That’s an entitlement.  Some people just inherit wealth.  (On her 18th birthday, Allegra Versace came into an inheritance valued at over $700 million.2)  That’s an entitlement.  Wonder how many of the rich entitled are Republicans…

1http://prospect.org/article/presidential-legacy
2http://www.inheritancefunding.com/Inheritance-Funding-Blog/bid/20410/Heirs-to-Today-s-Largest-Fortunes

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5 Responses to “Seen This Week”

  1. Lynn Shore Says:

    In regards to your record cold temps-we usually have to “drip” our water maybe two or three times a winter here in SC. Yeah I have had a few days when I forgot to do this, and had no water for shower or brushing teeth until the temps rise.

    • notesfromthewest Says:

      I remember the heavy snow storm in Greenville the second year I was there. Broken trees downed power lines. A friend from work asked to stay at my place for the few days it would take the power company to get her neighborhood back on line. Came with her cat, dog, and parrot. Unfortunately, her aquarium of fish, too large to move, froze.

  2. Price K Says:

    San diego did not escape the cold. We had to cover our ever growing lettuce factory on our deck – got down to 26. All of our pipes buried. 78 yesterday and 80 today (1/19) with sun + blue skies. No javelinas, but ran across brown, grand dad coyote while hiking yesterday in Fortunas.

  3. Jim Says:

    Competition and strife among all animals – humans are the worst, with their bloody wars. George Bush is an American war criminal, beyond international prosecution. Getting into any top university is evidence of high ambition but not high intelligence or high standards of morality.

    The low when we were in Tucson was 15. We lost a young orange tree. The head of agriculture department told me that a mandarin would have survived.

    Your bobcat photos are worth of front page on Audubon magazine!

  4. Mary Norton Says:

    Wonderful pic of the bobcats! Nice that there is still so much wildlife near you.

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