Good morning and greetings from this cold water paradise. Lately, a day hasn’t gone by when I haven’t seen a great blue heron. I spotted one this morning at the lagoon at Natural Bridges. They are beautiful birds with wing spans that would make both Yao Ming and a pelican jealous. I shot the first two photos this week right down the street from my lovely abode. I spied the next heron in the marshes at Four Mile Beach then it’s back to Natural Bridges. The yellow flower experience is from an open field on Delaware Avenue but it’s the last shot that’s the most unusual. I’ve only seen a great blue heron once in the ocean when this good looking fellow flew in very early one morning for a photo session at the arch at Its Beach. I paid him scale, he signed a release and we were both happy.
So on to the news of the day. Let’s play the Bush administration’s favorite game, “who wants to be average?” According to Time Magazine, the average U.S. household has 2.6 members not including pets, squatters and that friend who never knows when to leave. Our average age is 36.6 and while 17% of us exercise for well over one hour a day, the rest of us don’t even break a sweat. The vast majority of Americans believe in God and more than 90% own a bible. I don’t know what percentage own a gun but I’ll take a shot that it’s huge.
If you are an American at some point today you will say a prayer (perhaps at the free throw line,) use floss, and shower for 10 minutes. All you lovers of the outdoors will spend 95% of the day indoors and 2.5 hours online. You will also consume 20 teaspoons of added sugar and not save any money or souls. On weekends, people spend 1.5 hours reading while those aged 15 to 19 will spend seven minutes, much of which on instructions for iPods usage or text messaging.
On Thanksgiving, 88% will eat turkey but never visit the country. While most Americans prefer white meat the rest of the world (and yours truly) prefers dark. The average family has more televisions than people but we spend the same amount of time watching them as we did 40 years ago, just not laughing as much. Parents are both working harder and spending more time with their children, especially fathers, who spend 153% more time each week on child care then in 1965. Time with the wife (or husband) has dropped as pure spousal time is down 26% since 1975. On the other hand, time spent with mediators, lawyers and divorce proceeding is off the charts.
For you all brewski lovers, North Dakota ranks first in average beer consumption per person (they had to be first in something) while Utah is last. Large families are vanishing: only 10% of American households have five or more people. In 1970, 21% did. On the average, Americans sit in traffic 38 hours a year, wasting an estimated 26 gallons of gas per person. That’s life in the slow lane. I’m just glad that we’re not being held captive by the oil producing countries and that they money we’re paying for this black crude isn’t being funneled to terrorist groups that want to kill Americans. I was almost going to make a comment here about the Bush administration and the spiraling cost of gasoline but why spoil a good paragraph?
71% of American households have an internet connection, up from 50% in 2001. That still leaves about 31 million homes offline not reading this blog. Americans go to an average of 5 to 8 movies a year, spending 10 times more at theaters than all all major professional sports combined, which includes beach volleyball, roller derby and women’s professional wrestling.
The U.S. has 612,020 fast-food cooks but only 392,850 full-time farmers. Americans spend more in restaurants ($390 billion) than they do in grocery stores ($364 billion.) And finally, your fellow Americans spent $155 billion of alcoholic beverages last year, buying enough for every person to down 7 bottles of liquor, 12 bottles of wine, 230 cans of beer and a bag of pretzels. That may sound like a lot, but one-third of American adults don’t drink as the U.S. ranks 40th in the world in alcoholic consumption per person. For whatever reason, Luxembourg (who even knew they were a country?) is number one, followed by the Czech Republic and Ireland. So now we know why Irish eyes are smiling.
What does this all mean? I’m not really sure, just that I may have pumped out an average blog, which I do on the average of three times a week. That’s my batting average. So get ready for game one tonight of the western conference finals between the Spurs and Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. We’ll catch you for good Friday. Enjoy the herons and remember to play your man straight up. Aloha.