The ice is gone from the Wisconsin River in this part of the state. The ice and snow are mostly gone from the trails and lakes also, and my yard no longer has any snow in it. On Friday, I went to one of the eagle’s nests to see if the eagles had returned. I did not see any eagles, but this robin jumped on a barbed wire fence to keep an eye on me.
This is what the trails looked like at Lake Kegonsa State Park on Thursday. The snow should be gone by next weekend.
I took a vacation in July of 2012. It wasn’t a very good one. I had gone into northern Wisconsin seeking elk photos and ended up with only one good set. I returned home, mosquito bitten, sunburned, tired, and crabby. While I was on vacation my coworkers were informed by corporate headquarters we would be closing April, 2014. When my coworkers informed me that I would be losing my job, my mood instantly improved.
Allow me to explain. I work as a lab technician in a microbiology facility. We make medical diagnostic devices for microbiological testing. Stuff that’s used to determine what is making someone sick. Microbiology is basically trying to see little tiny stuff. For those few here who know me, you know I have a degree in History. I graduated from North Carolina State University, Magna Cum Laude, in 1998. To say the last thirteen years spent working as a microbiology lab technician have been fulfilling would be an outrageous misrepresentation of reality and a statement so devoid of truth—it would make Herr Adolf Putin envious.
In the United States in order to get a high school diploma students have to pass a set of science classes, which usually includes Biology. During my high school years I found a way to get my diploma without taking Biology. I managed to graduate from high school without ever having to peer through a goddamn microscope. I took an outdoor earth science class, and since this blog features mostly outdoor photography you can get a sense of how that class actually contributed to my fulfillment as a free empowered citizen of God”s green earth.
During my time at the various universities I’ve attended, I also managed to get my degree in History without setting foot in a Biology class. I actually got my degree without ever taking a class that involved a science lab. The course I took to fulfill that science credit involved, again, outdoor activities. I ended up with this lab rat position because I needed a night job so that I could pursue my daytime activities—such as photography, which, of course, many of you who have taken photos know you can get better photos during daylight hours as opposed to taking photos in the dark.
What does this all mean for my future? And the future of this blog? My future is, obviously, a bit uncertain now. Eventually, I will have to find another job. I have absolutely no intention of accepting a position anywhere in the microbiology field ever again.
The future of this blog will be determined by my ability to post. Last summer, I bought a new truck and a new camper. When this job ends on April 4th, I will be moving out of my apartment, and on May 1st, the countdown date, I will be leaving. Where? Hopefully the where will make you glad you’ve stayed. One of the things all people are recommended to have on their to do list; whether they be American, European, Australian or elsewhere, is to see the western part of the United States, which is where we are going. For anywhere from a couple of weeks to a few months—maybe six—I will be traveling to places like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone and, hopefully, I will be able to share this adventure with you on this blog.
I had thought about closing this blog a couple years ago. I’m glad, now, I didn’t. For those loyal few who have remained with me, who stop in and look at any new post I make, you may or may not have noticed a countdown widget was added about a year ago. Well that countdown is nearing the end and I plan on explaining soon.
1938 Munich: It was Mussolini’s idea that they should meet and so Hitler, Chamberlain, Daladier, and Mussolini met in Munich and determined the fate of the Czechoslovakian region Sudetenland. No one from Czechoslovakia was present at the meeting. The claim by Hitler was that ethnic Germans in the region were under threat from the Czech people and that Germany needed to annex the region in order to protect them. No one seemed to notice that the most important part of Czechoslovakia’s defense network against Germany was in the Sudetenland. The Munich conference ended with Germany being allowed to annex the Sudetenland and Hitler concluding that the West was weak. Poland was next and millions of people died in the war (WWII) that followed.
Today: Paris, France: Russia and the United States met to determine the fate of Crimea. A region Putin claims is filled with ethnic Russians who are under threat from the new government in Kiev, Ukraine. While these two nations grapple with what needs to be done, it seems strange to me that no one from Ukraine was present at this meeting.
Before another shameful chapter in world history is written, the conference in Paris, France needs to immediately cease until the Ukrainians are included in discussions about the future of their country.
A friend asked me my “thoughts about present day Eastern Europe?”
Below is my answer in regards to recent events in Ukraine.
It’s an extension of Putin’s policy of retaking lost Soviet territory as he did with Georgia 2008 when he helped break a pair of small states away from Georgia. The West’s reaction was the same as Chamberlain’s reaction to Hitler and it was "Peace in our Time." Now here we are a few years later and Putin has marched his army into "the Rhineland" I mean Crimea. We are living in a new era of appeasement and the EU refuses to accept that their lack of aggressive action against the Russians is growing more and more dangerous, and Putin is growing more and more aggressive. We need to return to Cold War policies and accept that the Russians just refuse to accept any other nation’s right to exist. Unfortunately for the US it means we will, as during Cold War I, assume leadership in the counter-force required to make the Russians understand that the economic impact on Russia is far worse than the gain of conquered territory. I know America is tired of war, but it’s time to accept that our old adversary (the Soviet Union) has been resting and recuperating and now feels it is in a powerful enough position to retake the former Soviet Republics and to do so they are playing the oldest game in international politics–a game taught to the world by the Roman Empire–divide and conquer.