This bites

Glass don’t be even half full, yo.

It’s bleakly amusing that The New York Times water scribe is named Henry Fountain.

And that’s about the only giggle in the “news” that we’re draining the Colorado River like a parched gaggle of Draculas tapping a hot blonde while not doing much to answer the question, “Why does the Southwest have so many vampires working out on this one skinny gal?”

It should go without saying that when you’re long on bloodsuckers and short on arteries you’re gonna start running a deficit. Is it too late to hit the Home Depot for a shitload of wooden stakes and hammers?

My fellow Burqueño John Fleck is on the case as per usual. See “How We Got Into This Mess on the Colorado River,” and a “strongly worded letter” from John Entsminger of the Southern Nevada Water Authority about the failure to reach a deal on Colorado River cutbacks.

NPR also has a piece, from The Associated Press.

And yes, I know, having spent much of my life bouncing around four of the states that draw water from the Colorado River, that I am part of the problem. What can I tell you? I am a creature of the desert, known to howl at the moon of an evening.

The children of the night! What music they make!

Just call me Bozo Lugosi.

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17 Responses to “This bites”

  1. Pat O’Brien Says:

    The Feds cut our supply of Colorado River water today. I blame all the wildcat rain barrels in Bibleburg stealing our water. Civil war! Where did I put my mike 16 and flak vest?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Hal told me today it was raining Ark-style up to Weirdcliffe. Naturally, he has to run a cross-country workout for the Crusty County Schools and then drive resupply to Deadville, where his boy Harrison is an incoming frosh.

      We got a sprinkle last night and are hoping for more in the next few days. We don’t get it, we’ll just sneak up to Colorado with a tanker truck and our leetle robber hose.

      • SAO' Says:

        Someone at the NWS tinkered with the algorithm a skosh. Our phones are pinging with flood warnings, if you have three or more people in one room, it sounds like the nickel machine room in Vegas.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        We’re looking at solid odds of rain over the next four or so days, because we have company coming. Wouldn’t wanna get outside or nothin’, no sir. It’s the Great Indoors for me. Freshen that up for ya, hon’?

        • SAO' Says:

          Denver 9 News anchor listened to the weather report last night, then asked, So street flooding every time it rains is the new normal?

    • SAO' Says:

      We’re at the point where Nebraska is going to physically invade Colorado (not speaking metaphorically) to build a canal to guarantee their fair share of the South Platte. TFG might bring us the Civil War II, but the first shots might be fired over water rights.

  2. SAO' Says:

    FYI, wanted to report back to Khal:

    12 days in Kane’ohe and Kailua, saw exactly two dudes on road bikes, zero HBL jerseys or tees, zero Share The Road stickers, and maybe 3 cars with bike racks. Oahu is now The Land of the Eight Cylinder. After 5 years in Fort Collins, my “bike-friendly” radar is a bit askew. But Lordy, Hawaii looks like they’ve mortgaged their future to internal combustions. Places I distinctly remember riding, I couldn’t find a shoulder with two hands and a flashlight. And where I did find a bike lane, inevitably it was occupied by the two 24” passenger-side wheels of every car heading in that direction.

    I pulled out my old (‘97-99) HBL Century and Metric Century bandanas to make sure I wasn’t getting something wrong. Makapu (Kane’ohe) clockwise to Kalanianaole Highway is mostly still doable. But Kane’ohe Bay Drive up the Kam Highway, from He’eia State Park to Swanzy Beach Park? Super Dave Osborne wouldn’t want to go down that road.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      My one visit to the Big Island, for Herself’s (mumble mumbleth) birthday, I decided you couldn’t force me at gunpoint to bicycle on those roads. I’d have rather ridden the wrong way on Academy Boulevard at drunk-thirty on a moonless summer night.

    • khal spencer Says:

      Oahu was bad enough when we bailed out in 2001. I worked quite a bit on the city bike plan that was written up in the late ’90’s but that was a pipe dream.

      A good friend of mine and fellow cyclist fled a few years later, saying the same thing you do, i.e., the island has mortgaged its future to the Patron Saint of Internal Combustion. I was last there in about 2007 and it seemed any available bit of land in Hawaii Kai, where we used to live, now had a low rise apartment on it, crawling out to the boundary of the next bit of land.

      None of this surprises me. More than anywhere else I have lived, Oahu was about keeping up with the Jones, and that meant the nicest car.

      And of course, what cars are to Oahu, straws in the river are to the Southwest. Too many of them. I think the upper Colorado basin states, including New Mexico, are underutilizing their shares, but it doesn’t matter. If things keep going the way they are, Lake Mead and Lake Powell will be drier than a popcorn fart.

    • Shawn Says:

      When I was on the Big Island in ’83, riding there wasn’t too bad. I was in Hilo and the only transportation I had other than my feet, was my bike. I went back in ’99 for a Saddle Road / Mauna Kea ride that was nice, but the main highway around the island was not something I would have considered riding. I can only imagine what it is like now. As for Oahu, no thanks. An overwhelmed tropical post-paradise.

      As for water usage, perhaps a consideration should be given to space station design – Recycle, recycle, recycle. “Don’t like the taste of your water, just change your diet.” As for flushing your toilet, only after multiple uses and then with waste water from your sink dish washing or shower use. Open channel canals? Not any longer. Solar panels will be installed on arches spanning the canals to shade them as well producing power on already utilized land area. Green grass; only at municipal parks with fully reclaimed water irrigation.

      • SAO' Says:

        No one goes to Oahu anymore, it’s too crowded.

        Which is why we stayed at the hush-hush, wink-wink USMC cabins on the far side of the runway. Downside was, a couple of times a day, Ospreys and C17s were taking off directly overhead. Upside was, we had two private beaches and a secret snorkeling cove all to ourselves.

        Bought opah at the commissary and grilled every night.

        Even Kailua is a world away from Honolulu. Went for a 45 minute walk on the beach, didn’t see another human for 44 minutes of it.

        The town hasn’t changed that much since I left in ‘99. Maybe 3x as crowded, and it probably only has 10 good years left. But there were many times where we found ourselves outnumbered by the chickens.

        But without the tax-free, no resort fee, zero occupancy tax USMC lodging, there’s no way we could have afforded it. For the price of a NOCO 3-bedroom ranch, you can rent a home in Lanikai for 30 days.

        • khal spencer Says:

          If we could have afforded a place on Lanikai, we would still be there. We typically held our breath at the end of the month to see if the checkbook was still afloat. And that was with a little zero lot line home in Hawaii Kai.

          Marine Corps Base Hawaii was a cool place. I did a bit of work in Kaneohe Bay back in my science days at the U of H, doing water and coral reef chemistry. I recall doing water sampling one summer, I think 1999 or 2000, when the military was moving P-3 aircraft to MCBH from Barbers Point. They were doing touch and go landings all day buzzing over us as we cruised the bay taking water samples onboard a Zodiac. I had a good friend, a retired O-6 USMC veteran, who could get us on and off the base. He lived in Kailua. Such good times.

  3. Opus the Poet Says:

    I spent 3 years as a military brat on Oahu back in the 60s and it was heaven for bicycles. I guess things have gone to hell in a handbasket since then.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oahu ain’t alone. One of my standing jokes when Herself and I moved from Fanta Se to Bibleburg in 1991 was a dismissive wave of a hand at the eastern suburban sprawl while bellowing, “None of this used to be here!”

      Powers was a dirt road when I was in high school, and pretty much everything east of Murray and north of Maizeland was vacant rural landscape. Academy and Constitution was a four-way stop, and Rustic Hills — a feeble little strip center with a Gibsons, a Woolworth’s, a liquor store, and a 7-Eleven — was our major nearby shopping opportunity. Ground wasn’t broken for the Citadel mall until three years after my family came to town in 1967.

      And hoo-boy, you want to talk about street flooding, that giant-ass parking lot soaked a lot of basements around the mall when the summer rains came.

      Now the north and east sides look like something out of a Spielberg-does-Stepford flick. A longtime reporter at the Gazette Telegraph once said that everything east of Hancock was not really Colorado Springs. Truer words, etc.

  4. Pat O’Brien Says:

    Fresh water shortage in the Southwest? I’ll worry about that later. Oops, later is here, but many people don’t believe it.

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