San Juan Mountains

San Juan Mountains
San Juan Mountains: Grenadier Range

Friday, July 5, 2013

The Fourth of July in Yuppiedom

Telling you that yuppies are rude and selfish is like telling you the sky is blue.  It is such an obvious truth it generally goes unnoticed.  Every once in a while, however, a yuppie will do something that exceeds his normal capacity for rudeness and selfishness.  In those instances the real nature of the yuppie is put on full display for all to see.  It is a disgusting and disturbing sight.  Most humans should probably live their lives away from yuppies as it takes a very strong constitution to live among these creatures. 
A couple of years ago I made the decision to live among the yuppies.  After living most of my adult life among human beings I thought it could make for an interesting change of pace to move to yuppie-land and take up residence with these strange beasts.  If I knew then what I know now I might have made a different decision.  As you all know, I am an amazingly long suffering person.  It takes an incredible amount of personal torment before I will object to anything that goes on around me.  It is almost impossible to motivate me to lash out at the unreasoning beasts that surround me.  Something happened yesterday that pushed me over the limit.  Let me tell you the story.
The Fourth of July is a difficult holiday for me.  Although I love my country as much, or more, than the next man, I do not love my government.  In fact, I fear, loathe and despise my government.  Sadly, from my perspective, the Fourth of July has become a day to celebrate all things government, especially military government (See the May 21, 2012 post to this blog:  "Musings On Our National Holidays"  As a result I make an effort to get as far away from anything government as possible on the Fourth of July.  For the past couple of decades that has meant a trip to the mountains to climb a fourteen thousand foot peak.  Yesterday was no exception to that pattern of behavior.
My wife and I were up at 4:00 am to load the truck and head for the hills.  We were meeting five friends along the way.  Our plan was to climb Grays Peak (14,270) via the South East slopes route from Horseshoe Basin.  It is a route I last climbed by myself back in October of 1999.  I remembered it as being short, steep, pleasant and solitary.  That sounded like a perfect way to escape the celebrations of government I knew would be taking place in yuppiedom.
We were at the trailhead a little bit after 7:00 am and on our way up by 7:30 am.  Like so many previously obscure routes I had taken decades ago, this one had been discovered by the peak-baggers.  Whereas I had climbed this route with only one other person fourteen years ago, we shared the route with about a dozen folks today.  Still that did not spoil the mood.  The other folks were kind and polite.  We were all out enjoying a beautiful basin filled with scattered snowfields and July wildflowers.  It took a couple of hours for our group to climb the 3200 vertical feet required to reach the summit.  There was a cool breeze blowing on the summit and we started down after about one hour of view gawking.  A couple of hours later and we were back to the vehicles and on our way to some delicious pizza at BeauJo's in Idaho Springs.  Here are a couple of photos from the climb.

Grays Peak is the high point on the right.

The "forget-me-not" flowers were fantastic near the summit.

Looking out from near the summit.

My wife and I  arrived home around 4:00 pm, tired from our early start and the day's efforts.  We were looking forward to a shower and some hydration while comfortably sitting in front of the television where we would watch the day's stage from the Tour de France.  Shortly after we had settled down the doorbell rang.  There was a lady about my age standing at the door.  I did not recognize her.  With her were two little kids I surmised were her grandchildren.  She introduced herself and then proceeded to tell me the reason for her interruption of my television viewing pleasure. 
It turns out she lives in a home that shares a backyard fence with my house.  I had never seen nor spoken with her since I moved in two years ago.  I have heard her and various family members or guests in their back yard on many occasions over the months.  From what I heard I had identified her as a yuppius elderus, or "older yuppie".  I could tell that she carried some weight in the yuppie community and that she was proud of that fact.  I made a mental note to avoid contact with her if possible.  Unfortunately, contact was forced upon me when she entered my territory and rang the doorbell.
What came out of her mouth next shocked me.  In my tired and weakened condition I was not prepared for the vicious onslaught of yuppie rudeness and selfishness.  She promptly told me that she was hosting a Fourth of July party and that she was inviting us to attend.  She told me that she had contacted all of my neighbors up and down the street and invited them to attend as well.  She nodded knowingly and told me that she believed my next door neighbor and his wife were going to be there.  All of this was done with a pleasant smile.  While she spoke she waved her stick-like yuppies arms enthusiastically in the air.  It seemed as if she really wanted us to attend.  Then she dropped the bomb.
After delivering the invitation she quietly informed me that she had hired a professional singer who was going to be "performing in the back yard from eight until eleven".  I was floored.  I immediately recognized that I was being skillfully manipulated by the queen yuppie.  She wanted to host a party that would increase her status in the clan.  In order to accomplish that goal she wanted to violate the noise ordinance codes for our home owners association, our county and our city.  She wanted to inform us that she was going to do so in order to obtain some sort of advance permission or agreement with her plan to disturb the neighbors all evening.  She was gone before I realized what had happened.  Her cherubic grandchildren gave me a pleasant adieu, probably to distract my attention from what had just happened, and they were gone.
I sat down in my rocking chair, unable to focus on that day's stage of the Tour de France, because I was so perplexed by what had just happened.  Had she really been so brazen as to come to my home, inform me that she was going to break the law and then walked away expecting me to be in full agreement with her plan?  Even worse than breaking the law (some laws should be broken) was the fact that she was pre-annoucing her intention to violate all social propriety in regards to quietness standards and good neighborliness and she expected me to appreciate what she was about to do.  I could not believe the arrogance of that queen yuppie.  I could not believe the rudeness of that queen yuppie.  I could not believe the selfishness of that queen yuppie.
As promised, at 8:00 pm the music started.  Although our back yards are relatively small she had hired a professional singer who required significant amplification.  He also had a drum machine.  When he cranked up it sounded as if a speaker was firmly planted on my deck, pointed towards the rear of my house.  It was so loud I had to choose between turning up my television to the maximum volume setting or closing the door and losing the cool night breeze.  I went back and forth between those options for the next hour until the coverage of that day's Tour de France stage came to an end.  It was only 9:00 pm.
Our bedroom, with two open windows, is basically right above the yuppie back yard.  The noise level was incredible.  It was obvious that, despite our very high level of fatigue, we were not going to be able to fall asleep until 11:00 pm.  Meanwhile the yuppies were hooting and hollering.  After each thing called a song they would shout and applaud.  They would look at each other for mutual affirmation and grab another Michelob Ultra from the stainless steel refrigeration in the kitchen.  They were so debonaire.  They were all telling good jokes and recounting stories about how they mountain bike and perform "burpees" under the watchful eye of their trainers at the club.  It was a typical yuppie gathering.
My wife was so tired she actually fell asleep before the show ended.  I could not.  I spent the minutes until 11:00 pm staring at the ceiling, wishing that the noise would stop.  I vainly hoped that some of the yuppie queen's yuppie neighbors would be disturbed enough to call the police.  No such luck.  From the constant sound of Michelob Ultra bottles being discarded I realized that the entire clan had gathered in her back yard for this strange ritual.  As promised, at 11:00 pm the music stopped.  I was asleep before another minute passed.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Short Memories Make Bad Science

Have you ever noticed how every time your neighborhood experiences a prolonged heat wave people will talk as if it is the first time it has ever happened?  Oh sure, there is the occasional old curmudgeon sitting on his front porch who will tell you that it was hotter back in the "heat wave of 39", but for the most part folks seem to forget the weather events of the past.  The same is true for cold spells.  In fact, selective memory is a characteristic for just about all natural phenomena.  It seems like every year I hear people tell me that the "leaves are changing early this year", as if that has never happened before.
A part of the reason for these ridiculous statements is the fact that people simply forget what happened yesterday.  Whatever happens today seems new to most folks.  It is crazy, but it is true.  Another reason people quickly forget the past is the fact that weather patterns are rarely "normal" or "average".  We speak of the "average temperature for this day" all of the time.  Yet the average temperature is always a compilation of a large number of highly varied temperatures.  The average temperature in Denver today is around 88 degrees.  However, the high temperature for this day has varied from a record high of 101 to a record low of 75.  That is a 26 degree range in which the temperature can fall.  The chances of today's temperature actually equally the average temperature are slim.  Most likely the temperature will fall somewhere within a 26 degree range.  That is a pretty wide range and it will inevitably result in somebody saying that he can't recall when it has been this hot, or this cold, on this day.
Advocates of global warming suffer from notoriously short memories.  Every daily weather event is seen as a harbinger of impending doom and as proof positive that global warming is upon us.  Of course the fact that global temperatures have not been continuously rising has forced them to make some changes to their propaganda.  Instead of insisting that we are in the throes of global warming we are now told that we are all suffering from anthropocentric global climate change.  In other words, these poor souls believe that human beings are responsible for the daily changes we see in the weather.  If it rains, man caused it.  If it snows, man is responsible.  If it gets hot, it is global warming.  If it gets cold, it is because man has caused the ice caps to melt.  No matter what happens in the daily weather pattern it is the fault of profit seeking businesses.  The only solution is for the savior state to come in and issue regulations that will prevent profit seeking businesses from producing any carbon dioxide.
The problem with the theories of the advocates of man-caused global climate change is that they are simply not true.  This year has been a devastating year for tornadoes.  Do you believe that we are having an ever increasing incidence of tornadoes?  Do you believe that tornadoes are becoming stronger and more devastating?  Global climate change advocates do.  Here is the truth:

As you can see, if you believe tornadoes are becoming more frequent and more violent you simply have a very bad memory.   The incidence and violence of tornadoes was much worse during the 1970s.  Do you believe that the incidence and severity of hurricanes has increased dramatically in recent years?  Do you agree with the climate change alarmists that mankind is responsible for this change?  Here is the truth:

(Note:  Despite my best efforts, I could not get this graph to post.  Go to: to see it and the others.)

As you can see, if you believe hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more violent you simply have a very bad memory.  The incidence and severity of hurricanes has remained essentially unchanged for the past forty years.  Do you believe that snow coverage in the northern hemisphere has been dramatically reduced due to global warming in recent years?  Are you worried about those poor polar bears who have no snow to play upon?  You shouldn't be.  Here is the truth about snow coverage:

As you can see, snow coverage in the northern hemisphere has remained essentially unchanged since 1967.  Of course there is some variability.  The least amount of snow coverage in recent times was recorded in 1981.  Interestingly enough, the greatest amount of snow coverage in recent times was recorded just last year, when global warming was expected to have dramatically reduced the surface of the earth covered by snow.  Oh well, so much for following the data.  Do you believe that droughts are longer and more severe than they have ever been?  Do you believe that drought covers more of the country than it ever has?  Here are the facts: