Good morning and welcome to orchid Wednesday. I love these flowers-they are so exotic and colorful and never ask for anything in return besides a little water and some muskrat love. I took a trip to the Farmer’s Market last Saturday where I came upon these first three lovely ladies. The second three photos are some orchids that have been sitting on my TV for the last few weeks, keeping me company as I watch NBA basketball and bang out these words of wisdom. These orchids bloom for months-they are a gift that just keeps on giving. I’m not an orchaholic but I do admit to needing to buy these beauties on a somewhat regular basis. But I can quit any time I want to. Really, I can.
So let’s get to a couple of stories that captured my somewhat divided attention this past week. It’s so easy to vote here in the United States. All we have to do is drive to our local precinct, mark our ballot, collect an “I voted” sticker and we’ve done our civic duty. Not so easy in Sri Lanka. Residents of one Sri Lanka village were prevented from casting their first vote in 14 years not by Tamil Tiger rebels, but by a herd of wild elephants that blocked the road to the polling booths. Sri Lankan security forces used loudspeakers, sirens and church mice to scare away the elephants in Wellaveli, eventually allowing 51 percent of registered voters in this eastern Sri Lankan district to cast their ballots. The other 49 percent decided to buy some peanuts and take in the show. There was no word on what might have drawn the pachyderms to the area and if the elephants know they’re not saying. But the elephants who scattered have vowed to remember this day, because as we know, an elephant never forgets.
Moving across the open water, wildlife officials in New Zealand say they are amazed at what may be the first documented case of a dolphin rescuing stranded whales and guiding them back to open water. That is, of course, if you don’t count an episode of “Flipper” from season number two when he rescued a killer whale that got caught in a water spout. Or was that the eensy weensy spider? Bottlenose dolphin Moko has regularly played with swimmers, boogie boarded and frolicked in the surf at Mahia Beach since she took up residence there nearly a year ago. Whale rescuers say they were about to give up trying to get two pygmy sperm whales, a mother and a calf, back out to sea when Moko rushed in and began to “communicate” with the two other marine mammals.
Conservation officer Malcolm Smith said he could hear the whales and the dolphin making noises, apparently to one another, before Moko escorted the whales through a narrow channel leading to the open seas. “I was not aware that dolphins could communicate with pygmy sperm whales, but something happened that allowed Moko to guide those two whales to safety,” Smith told reporters. Wow. When asked about this amazing turn of events, Led Zeppelin lead singer Robert Plant said he was just glad there was no “communication breakdown” while lead guitarist Jimmy Page said the whole episode left him “dazed and confused.”
One word on the disgraced Eliot Spitzer. What he did was wrong and incredibly stupid and he and his family are paying the price. His wife looked totally devastated as she stood next to him at the podium last week and I’m sure his three teenage daughters must feel like they’ve been hit with a sledgehammer over the news that Daddy frolics with prostitutes when he’s away on business. So Elliot Mess is the new poster boy for hypocrisy but that’s nothing new for politicians. He’s not the first to screw up publicly and he won’t be the last. And the Feds could bring him up on charges of bringing that woman across state lines.
But here’s what gets me. Bush and Cheney have sent hundreds of thousands of men and women across ocean lines to Iraq to either be killed, wounded or just separated from their families for prolonged times. And for what reason? I just saw Cheney on the news two nights ago telling everyone that we need to stay in Iraq because this would not be a good time to walk away and that things are so much better than they were ten months ago. It’s been five years, Dickie boy. Shock and awe. Bottom line, these guys are throwing trillions of dollars in a war that we never should have gotten into and they’re just going to walk out of office scot free. Eight U.S. soldiers died in Iraq the day this story broke. Now here’s Spitzer, because he couldn’t keep it in his pants being publicly shamed and his family left reeling. Whose crime is worse? Somehow, it just doesn’t seem right.
Caught a beautiful late winter sunset over the Pacific tonight. It was a real stunner and we’ll post it up, just like I post up my son in the driveway when we battle one-on-one in hoops. He’s now as tall as I am and the days of my intimidating him are over. The big difference is that his basketball future is ahead of him while I’ve got a great future behind me. So enjoy the orchids, our solid economy, rising gas prices and we’ll catch you on Friday. Later.