Fall Firewood.

first_imgLong-ago memories of a country fall in north Georgia pervade my thoughts about this time of year. The cool nights and crisp morning air take me back many years to Saturday afternoons.Back then, my dad and I would split firewood behind the barn while we listened to Larry Munson describe each play on the radio during Georgia Bulldog football games.Dad was a University of Georgia graduate back in 1932. He was a true Bulldog fan, so we had to listen to all the Bulldog games on the radio. Now mind you, we had a television, but not out at the barn.Munson MemoriesDuring those play by play commentaries on the radio, we would stop and listen to Munson describe the plays. It was easy to picture them in our minds. I can’t tell you who played for Georgia at the time, but Vince Dooley was the coach.Dad and I could get quite a bit of wood split during commercials, timeouts and halftime. We weren’t fortunate to have a gas-powered wood splitter. I don’t even know if they made them back them.We used a wedge, a sledge hammer and a tool my Dad called a “go-devil.” The go-devil was simply a splitting maul. It had a wedge on one side, a hammer on the other and a long handle.Even though Dad was in his 70s and blind in one eye from a car wreck around 1936, he would take the go-devil, and with a powerful swing, bury the wedge deep in the center of the short length of log we were splitting.Science of SplittingIf the log was straight-grained, like pine, oak or hickory, it would usually split into equal halves. If it had knots in it, splitting the log was a bit more difficult. And if it was wood with an interlocking grain, like sweet gum and elm, it was darn near impossible to split.We had a lot of sweet gum and elm.If Dad didn’t split the wood with the go-devil (sometimes it would just bounce out), he would leave the go-devil stuck in the log section and hold the handle steady, and I would use the sledge hammer to pound the hammer side of the go-devil completely through the log. Eventually, it would split.Sometimes we just gave up on the sweet gum and elm.We stacked the split wood under the barn so it could dry. It takes at least six to nine months for it to dry (then it’s called seasoned wood).Seasoned WoodIf it’s not seasoned, I can’t burn wood in the wood heater I have now. So I have to plan for the winter well in advance if I want to use my wood heater.Green wood will burn, but seasoned wood will have more heat value. That’s because heat is lost as the moisture in the wood changes to steam, which then escapes and allows the wood to burn. Green or wet wood sizzles, fizzles and spits as it burns.Green wood will often split more easily than dry wood. Red oak and locust split easier dry than green. On the other hand, white oak, ash and maple split easier green than dry.Splitting wood is a skill I learned from my dad. It was good exercise, a diversion for us at times. And it created some memories of my dad and football on Saturday afternoons, memories that seem to come back every fall. The old woodpile warms a body with the cutting, the splitting, the stacking, the burning and the memories returning year after year. Photo: Mike Isbelllast_img read more

Swiss Re steps away from coal insurance business

first_imgSwiss Re steps away from coal insurance business FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Greentech Media:Swiss Re took a step forward this week in its commitment to manage carbon-related sustainability risks and support the transition to a low-carbon economy. As of Monday, the Zurich-based firm no longer provides insurance or reinsurance to businesses with more than 30 percent exposure to thermal coal.The thermal coal policy announced in June 2017 was based on Swiss Re’s pledge to adopt the principles of the Paris climate agreement in 2015, which seeks to keep global warming under 2 degrees Celsius. As part of that commitment, “Swiss Re supports a progressive and structured shift away from fossil fuels,” according to a company statement.The thermal coal policy applies to both new and existing thermal coal mines and power plants, and is implemented across all lines of business and Swiss Re’s global scope of operations. The policy is an integral part of Swiss Re’s Sustainability Risk Framework, which the reinsurer uses for all underwriting and investment activities.The 30 percent threshold on Swiss Re’s insurance practice is in line with the threshold on the firm’s investment practice. As of 2016, Swiss Re stopped investing in companies that generate 30 percent or more of their revenues from thermal coal mining or that use at least 30 percent thermal coal for power generation. The reinsurer also divested from existing holdings.Swiss Re isn’t the only insurance firm to restrict its participation in the coal sector in recent months. In May, Germany’s Allianz stopped insuring single coal-fired power plants and coal mines, in response to criticism from environmental groups. Dai-ichi Life Insurance recently became the first Japanese institution to stop financing coal-fired power plants overseas, and Nippon Life Insurance is considering limits on coal plant financing.More: Swiss Re stops insuring businesses with high exposure to thermal coallast_img read more

Credit unions: Big believers in small business

first_img 11SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr by: Christina PontissoA Smarter Choice would like to give special thanks to Lancaster Red Rose Credit Union for contributing the article below to our blog. They provided a very insightful article focused on how credit unions are focused on working with small business start-ups by providing financial assistance. Enjoy!The benefits of doing your personal banking with a credit union over a large financial corporation have been outlined numerous times.  And the public has been ready to make the move, as credit unions passed the 1 million member mark in 2014.  But it’s not only personal savings and lending where credit unions can make a difference.   Credit unions are big fans of small business!Small business optimism is at it’s highest in several years.  In addition to an increase in the overall optimism index score, small businesses have big plans for capital investments. Half of all small-business owners surveyed said they plan to make investments next year, up from 43% in 2013 and 41% in 2012. continue reading »last_img read more

Facility Solutions: Integrating physical and digital delivery

first_imgJust a few years ago, Brett King, author of Banking 2.0 and Banking 3.0, and I appeared to be in two very different camps. His was: “Branches are dead.” Mine was: “Not so fast, Mr. King.”This played out in a number of online exchanges on LinkedIn group sites. King has gone on to great success on the technology side, but the vast majority of financial institutions are still trying to find the perfect balance of technology and human touch, of hitting target member preferences and economic possibility.The search for the perfect delivery solution is certainly good for our business. It helps credit unions integrate the right technologies and drives a strong unique brand experience. We know that in addition to a strong branch network optimization plan, a great location, and a powerful branch business model and branded experience, staff’s ability to deliver on the brand promise is critical. The only way staff can deliver is by living in both the physical and technological worlds.Reflective of this, over the past few years we have seen new employee titles. Teller and MSR have become universal associate; branch operations manager has changed to member experience manager; and, most recently, greeter or concierge is now referred to as digital ambassador. continue reading » 3SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Concern Grows for Humpback Whale Stuck on Moriches Bay Sandbar

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Marine biologists are growing concerned with the welfare of a humpback whale that had been swimming off Long Island over the past week but is got stuck on a sandbar in Moriches Bay.The whale is currently “grounded in the middle of the bay, near Hart’s Cove,” the Riverhead Foundation for Marine Research and Preservation said in a statement on Facebook. The whale has been struggling to get itself unstuck.“We are considering the whale’s welfare, and are disappointed in the recent turn of events,” the Riverhead Foundation said on Facebook. “We are hopeful that the animal will be able to swim out of the bay on its own with higher tides.”Biologists with the organization went out on boats Sunday to monitor the whale’s behavior and condition, the group added. Additionally, biologists, along with Southampton Town Bay Constables and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, attempted to produce a surge of waves to knock the whale off the sandbar, to no avail.Reports of the whale swimming off Long Island first emerged on Nov. 13. From its behavior, the foundation said it appeared the whale was feeding. At the time, the foundation requested that active boaters stay alert and avoid moving too close.As biologists continue with their wait-and-see approach, the group is also actively consulting with the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and whale experts about possible courses of action.Mendy Garron, Marine Mammal Stranding Coordinator, NOAA Fisheries Greater Atlantic Region, said in a conference call with reporters Tuesday that the whale is likely suffering from internal injuries, noting that forcibly removing the animal could cause a “significant amount of stress” and compound any medical issues. “The animal’s well being is the first priority,” Garron added. Officials are deploying a team of experts from Cape Cod, as well as a large whale veterinarian from North Carolina, to aid in medical intervention. Based on similar episodes across the country, whales of that size typically have only have up to week of survival once stranded. Once doctors make contact, they can then advise whether euthanizing the whale is in its best interest. The goal is to make the animal as comfortable as possible, Garon said, adding that experts have advised against any further attempts to physically remove it from the sandbar. As a safety precaution, officials have advised concerned citizens to avoid approaching the whale. Going within 200 feet of the whale is in violation of the Marine Mammal Protection Act, Garron said. Although Long Island has had humpback whale sightings in the past, having one appear in Moriches Bay is rare, officials said. The bay’s extensive sandbars are particularly challenging for whales to navigate. Marine biologists became concerned almost immediately after receiving reports of the whale in the bay because of of the waterway’s obstacles. As experts discussed contingency plans, they eventually concluded that physically removing the whale from the bay was not in its best interest because of its location and the distance of intervention would be greater than any past instances. At least two humpback whales found off Long Island this year did not survive their foray into nearby waterways.In June, biologists found partial remains of a dead humpback whale floating in the waters of Westhampton, and in April, a dead whale was found floating in Napeague Bay in Amagansett.At least six deceased whales were found off Long Island last year.last_img read more

Northbrook strikes big in Belfast

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Qatar backed ‘terrorism and extremism’, UAE tells UN court

first_img‘Gulf rift’ Qatar is due to give its response on Wednesday, with the rest of the hearings — which are all taking place by videolink due to the coronavirus pandemic — due on Friday and Monday.But a final ruling by the ICJ, which was set up in 1946 after World War II to rule in disputes between member states of the United Nations, could take years.The court issues binding judgments but has no means of enforcing them.The crisis between Qatar and the Saudi-led blockading nations shows no sign of relenting despite rising international pressure to end the feud.The alliance has issued a raft of terms Qatar must accept before it will lift the embargo that includes a ban on direct air, land or sea trade.Doha strongly denies the allegations and has refused to meet the demands that also stipulate the closure of its flagship state-funded broadcaster Al Jazeera.The UAE’s Al-Naqbi said that his country and Qatar “share historical bonds dating back to ancient times”, and that Abu Dhabi was “open to close the Gulf rift” with the help of third parties. They imposed an effective blockade by land, air and sea, and ordered the expulsion of Qatari nationals. Qatar dragged the UAE to the ICJ a year later seeking to get the measures lifted.The allies faced a “grave threat brought by Qatar’s support for terrorism and extremism,” Abdallah al-Naqbi, director of the international law department at the UAE foreign ministry, told the court via videolink.”This has nothing to do with racial discrimination.”Qatar’s case at the ICJ says that the UAE’s actions breached the 1965 International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). ‘Build bridges’ Doha had already acted to address “imperfections” in its initial response, such as holding off any deportations and allowing Qataris to enter the UAE “subject only to an application process and security screening,” he said.In an apparent reference to the UAE’s historic normalization of ties with Israel, al-Naqbi said that “as the court will have noted from other recent events, the UAE’s aspiration as a nation is to be open and to build bridges.”The case has gone Qatar’s way so far, with the ICJ in 2018 ordering the UAE to take emergency measures to protect the rights of Qatari citizens, pending the start of full hearings in the case.In that year Qatar accused the UAE of creating a “climate of fear” for Qataris living there.The legal ping-pong continued when the United Arab Emirates last year filed its own case seeking emergency measures to stop Qatar “aggravating” the dispute, only to have the court reject it.Qatar then won a separate but related case at the ICJ in July that is specifically about the air blockade. Its rivals had appealed a decision by the world civil aviation body in favor of Qatar over sovereign airspace. Topics : The United Arab Emirates accused Qatar on Monday of backing “terrorism and extremism” as the three-year-old Gulf diplomatic crisis returned to the UN’s top court.Abu Dhabi urged the Hague-based International Court of Justice (ICJ) to throw out a case brought by Doha claiming measures taken against Qatar amounted to racial discrimination.Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and several other allies severed ties with Qatar in a shock move in 2017, accusing Doha of backing terrorism and siding with their regional rival Iran.last_img read more

India, Maldives Sign MoU for Passenger and Cargo Services

first_imgA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed between India and the Maldives for the establishment of passenger and cargo services by sea, has received approval from The Union Council of Ministers of India.Under the deal, signed on June 8, 2019, the parties are set to explore a proposed ferry service with a view to harness the potential opportunity that lies in passenger and cargo transportation by sea between the two countries.India said that the service would contribute “in a big way to promote people to people contact and to boost bilateral trade.”India has provided USD 100 million stand-by credit facility (SCF) to Maldives, including long-term loans and revolving credit for trade.Male, the capital and most populous city and Kulhudhuffushi, the third most populous city of Maldives are good prospects for introduction of ferry service from Kochi for both tourists as well as cargo.last_img read more

Pirates Fall To Jets In Boys Soccer

first_imgOn Thursday evening, the Greensburg Pirates hosted the Hauser Jets in what would be the final home game for the Pirates. Seniors Jake Buening, Brady Niles, Francis Teague, Jose Rosales, Jordan Kramer, Aaron Sia, Logan Yeager, Andrew Schroeder, and Drew Reiger were all honored before the game and thanked for their effort over the years as members of the Greensburg soccer team.Goalie, Drew Reiger got the scoring started for the Pirates midway through the first half. A handball in the box allowed for a Pirates penalty kick and the Greensburg goalie was called upon to take it. It was Reiger’s first career goal. The Jets were able to answer back and tie the score up before halftime, but just before the end of the first half, Francis Teague played a cross into the Jets’ penalty box and Jose Rosales was able to finish with the header. The Pirates took a 2-1 lead into halftime.Throughout the second half, the Pirates had some more scoring opportunities with shots coming from Jordan Kramer, Jake Buening, Brady Niles and Francis Teague, but none were able to slip past the Hauser goalie. Hauser was able to grab two more goals before the game ended, Greensburg lost a hard fought match 3-2.Next game for Greensburg is their sectional opener against East Central, Wednesday, October 7th at 5pm. The match will take place in Batesville.Courtesy of Pirates Coach Cody DeVolld.last_img read more

DCCF relishes end of year donors

first_imgGreensburg, IN—The Decatur County Community Foundation is in a bit of a “pickle”. Tami Wenning, the Foundation Director, dressed up like a “Big Dill”, is seeking the community’s help to meet the match from a Mystery Donor for a new Vocational Scholarship Fund.  The donor is willing to match up to $5,000 to be ap[plied for a scholarship that can help anyone wanting to go into the trade field.  Wenning stated that every donation given will earn matching funds from our generous mystery donor, but they only have 5 days left to make the match! You can call the office at 812.662.6364, stop by the office located at 101 E Main St Suite 1, Greensburg, IN 47240, or click here to donate and be sure to designate the “Mystery Donor Scholarship” in the search box.last_img read more

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