Saturday, April 22, 2017

L. A. Smog is NOT MY FAULT

Yeah, the LA basin is smoggy.  But it’s not our fault.

In 1542, two ships, commissioned by Spain, sailed up the California coast in search of the mythical Seven Cities of Gold and the Strait of Anián (believed to be the Northwest Passage).

The voyage was a failure but they hoped they might discover a coastal route to China. 
 
Nevertheless, commanded by a conquistador named Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, the voyage brought them to, what is now, San Pedro Bay where they encountered a huge, low hanging haze over the area.  From that voyage, we have the first written observations of the Los Angeles area which they named Baya de Los Fumos, or Bay of the Smoke.

But the region had another name given by the Chumash tribe of Native American Indians who settled here hundreds of years ago.   Los Angeles is basically a large, low basin surrounded by mountains, which is a natural trap for air pollution.

The Chumash people noticed that the smoke from their cooking fires would just hang low throughout the whole basin.  And the characteristic smog was consistent and significant enough to earn the name, which, translated into English, means “Valley Of Smoke.”

The haze was not caused by internal combustion engines, backyard incinerators, or industrial factories.  It was only smoke emanating from the Indian villages.  The smoke would rise into the air and flatten out against an invisible, atmospheric ceiling caused by temperature inversion.

The inversion layer forms when ocean breezes draw cool marine air onshore beneath a mass of warmer air above.  Held in place by the mountains that shelter Los Angeles on the north and east, the cool air then stabilizes, unable to rise through the warm air above. 

So, there you have it, folks.  The EPA, Algore, and all your nature-loving, earth worshiping whackos have been blaming YOU!   The L. A. basin will never be smog free even if you can prevent all the cattle from farting.




Thursday, February 9, 2017

Velvet-Covered Bricks


I read where one of our states passed a law requiring students to be polite.  School-aged children would be required to use words like “please” and “thank you” and they must address their teachers as “sir” or “ma’am.”  I think it’s a great idea.  Have you noticed how rude and abrasive people are these days? 

My first week as the administrator of a Christian Home, an employee stormed into my office and proceeded to unload her frustrations on me.  I don’t recall what her grievance was but I do remember her obtrusive and obnoxious manner.  And she had an extensive vocabulary of four-letter expletives that she crafted quite eloquently.  My guess is that her mother had never introduced her to the taste of Ivory Soap.

A few years ago my own pastor had to call me into his office to address my own harshness.  He told me that I should learn to be more like a “velvet covered brick”.  He explained that it is O.K. to be firm on principles, but it is never right to be rude. 

I find that being a brick is easy but, wearing the velvet; not so much.  Sometimes my velvet gets worn a little thin and I have to keep patching it up.  I have a couple velvet-covered brick bookends in my office as a reminder to keep my speech in check.

What impressions do we make on others?  Do we speak kindly with respect and love or are we just rude and nasty?  Anyone can yell at a waitress, chew out a clerk, or let off steam at a receptionist.  It is much more difficult to be kind and gentle, to demonstrate patience and understanding, and to practice self-control.  Not only is it worth the effort but it is evidence of the indwelling Spirit of God in the life of a Christian.


 The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, 
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 
Gal.5:22,23