May 12, 2013

He Ain’t Heavy, Bees My Brother

Good morning and greetings, whale watchers. It was an exciting week along the edge of the continent, as the huge grays are making their annual migration up the coast. It’s a thrill to be walking along and seeing these giant, majestic creatures of the sea surface offshore. It serves as a reminder of how fortunate I am to have manifested my destiny to this cold water paradise, where the redwoods meet the sea of Golden State Warrior fans.

Yes, Stephen Curry and the Warriors have been the talk of the basketball world, and if you tune in your radio dial to 630 AM or 97.9 FM weekdays between 3 and 5pm, you just might catch me trying to speak as slowly as possible, so that more people than my mother can decipher what I’m going on about while dissecting the NBA playoffs.

So getting back to the somewhat frigid Pacific, the water temps here on the westside ranged last week from 51 to 53 degrees. To someone like myself, who at this stage of the game is as a delicate as a bouquet of Mother’s Day roses, that is a bit nippy. Thus, I live my life in Santa Cruz on the water, not in the water. That is, except when I do my weekend snorkeling and scuba diving at the hot tub overlooking the ocean where my parents reside.

There, I explore a world full of sharks, manta rays and exotically colored fish. Wait a minute, I’m confusing my weekend water therapy with a dream I had last night, when I went with Jacques Cousteau to Red Lobster for the endless shrimp special and unlimited Cheddar Bay biscuits. JC was in rare form, as he was downing those sweet and sour shrimps like they were M & M’s that melted in his mind, not in his hand.

After dinner and a game of darts, he looked me in the eye and summed up the reason for my life and this blog. “When one man, for whatever reason, has the opportunity to lead an extraordinary life, he has no right to keep it to himself.” And thus, that is why I bare my soul to the the world and the foreign press each week. When the fish n’ chips of life are down, you must lift people up. It would be an act of cyber treason not to. At least that’s what my rabbi tweeted to me.

As my high school prom date once told me, there are many fish in the sea. At this moment, we are doing are best to overfish certain species. If you’re going to a restaurant and ordering endangered species like swordfish, sea bass or blue or yellow fin tuna, wake up and smell the mercury. But even with this harpooning of one of nature’s greatest resources, the fish will hopefully come back. But another key player in fulfilling our American diet is in bigger trouble.

In a story written by Seth Borenstein for the Associated Press, a new federal report blames a complex set of environmental stresses to have caused a dramatic decline among honeybee colonies. It’s a symptom called colony collapse disorder. This dramatic disappearance has baffled a select team of black bears and scientists. Factors include multiple viruses, a parasitic mite, Tom Arnold, bacteria, poor nutrition, not flossing regularly, genetics, habitat loss, last-second buzzer beaters and pesticides.

This is a very serious issues and our government is at odds as to where to point the finger. The parasitic, disease-carrying, tic- like bug, known as the varroa mite, can withstand the chemicals beekeepers use and has its own Facebook page. In Europe, they’re blaming the chemicals, as they began a two-year ban on three pesticides that have been linked with declining bee populations. The Obama administration, however, is reluctant to blame pesticides solely for the declining bee colonies, as they think it is a Republican problem.

Four out of five bee keepers who recommend sugarless pollen for their bees who chew gum say the multiple causes have made it harder to do something about their mysterious disappearance. The disorder has caused as much as one-third of the nation’s bees to just disappear each winter since 2006. Last year, the nation’s biggest bee keeper said he lost 42% of his bee colony, but that he made up for his losses at the track.

Honeybees are needed to pollinate crops, as they are crucial to the U.S. food supply. About $30 billion a year in agriculture depends on the health of these busy, buzzing little workers. Besides making honey, honeybees pollinate more than 90 flowering crops. Among them are apples, nuts, psycho cases, soybeans, avocados, chips, asparagus, citrus fruit, cranberries, beef and broccoli. About one-third of the human diet comes from insect-pollinated plants and the honeybee is responsible for 80 percent of that pollination. The rest comes from multi national food conglomerates, who focus on good health and proper nutrition while bringing us Twinkies, Slurpees, Whoppers, Super Sized Fries and Cheesy Kale Chips.

So here’s the bottom line. The nation may be on the brink of not having enough bees to pollinate its crops, and modern farming practices are leaving very little land for bees and other pollinators, but plenty of room for polluters. Myself, I have always been happy with bees, although my parents pushed me to try and get A’s. The final word on this subject belongs to my old pal, Billy Shakespeare, who came up with this gem when he summed up the situation. “To bees or not to bees, that is the question.” Then he threw in this reminder, “Listen to many, blog to a few.”

For today’s photo arcade, we are heading up the North Coast to lovely Four Mile Beach. The date was April 2, and I wanted to check out the wildflower action, which I knew,like my allergies, would be in full spring bloom. The vast amount of yellow, red, orange and purple wildflowers did not disappoint me, as their vibrant colors stood out on in contrast to the gray sky. The sea gulls were just an added bonus. When we can visit a remote beach like this just five minutes driving time from your home, something is right in the world.

On to some late night humor. “Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford is the guy who told his wife he was going for a hike and then went to Argentina to see his girlfriend. He was then exposed as an unethical, lying, cheating weasel. In a stunning comeback, he has been elected to Congress, where he’ll fit right in.” –Jay Leno “When asked if Hillary Clinton will run for president, Bill Clinton said, ‘She’s having a little fun being a private citizen.’ And then he added, ‘Not Bill Clinton fun, but fun nonetheless.” –Conan O’Brien

“Some experts are saying that the 2016 Democratic presidential race could come down to Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. Biden is calling her a worthy opponent, while Hillary is calling him ‘practice.’ “The National Park Service is launching a new campaign to attract younger visitors. It has a very creative slogan: ‘National Parks: Nobody Knows You’re Drinking in Here.’” –Jimmy Fallon

“PETA is really upset at Chris Christie for killing a spider in front of a group of school children. Governor Christie said, ‘If PETA is upset by that, they do not want to know what I had for lunch today.’” –Conan O’Brien “The NRA this week elected a new president, choosing Alabama lawyer Jim Porter who recently referred to Attorney General Eric Holder as ‘rabidly un-American’ and still calls the Civil War the ‘War of Northern Aggression.’ He’s known around the NRA as ‘Reasonable Jim.’” –Seth Meyers ” On Mother’s Day, Hooters is giving away free wings to all mothers who come in. Eating lunch with your mom at Hooters — I guess some guys never get tired of their moms saying, “Look at me when I’m talking to you!” -Jay Leno

So Happy Mother’s Day to all, as our lifetimes, the month of May and the NBA playoffs move on. We’ll catch you putting on an incredible first half shooting performance that had the nation buzzing about the Golden State Warriors’ backcourt. Aloha, mahalo and later, Klay Thompson fans.

3 Comments »

  1. I like the title! This article is mindful! You have great women as a wife and mother! ;)

    Comment by Ana — May 12, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

  2. You announcing a radio gig, and Barbara Walters getting out of the business the same day? Cannot be a coincidence.

    Comment by Joe D'Arias — May 13, 2013 @ 8:43 am

  3. When I saw the of the blog, I thought you were paying tribute to me. I bee very disappointed.

    Comment by World B. Free — May 13, 2013 @ 8:58 am

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