Saturday, June 12, 2010

Rocks and Ingenuity


Rock is pretty basic stuff. It’s the firm part of terra firma, certainly. Where would we be without that?

I’m sort of a nut about rock – Not whole mountains like the Alps or Rockies, but the moderate sizes I find in hidden outcrops and boulders strewn around by glaciers, earthquakes and such.

I was in New York State last month – the part they call the Southern Tier. Found some nice rocks where natives may have camped along the Susquehanna River centuries ago. Also found several stone fences in the forest where early settlers placed stone from their fields.

It was surprising to find large amounts of flat stone peeling from some of the boulders that no one had used for building. When you consider what you’d pay for stone like that at a stone yard, it’s amazing that it hadn’t been used or sold. They call it Bluestone or Graystone there, depending on the color. It’s so abundant in the region, nobody thinks much about it.

There’s oil and gas in the Marcellus Shale there too, but that’s not being utilized, either. Makes you wonder about what they once called Yankee ingenuity. I guess a few of the environmental nuts have good intensions, but my own thought is that true ingenuity (as opposed to corporate greed for quick profits) is all that’s required for safe resource production and utilization.

To me, ingenuity means getting things done with a combination of smarts and lots of experience to determine the proper way to do things safely. Personally, I think any corporate manager or bureaucrat that doesn’t have hands-on experience in the matters he makes decisions on ought to be thrown in jail and left there. I’d rather pay for his keep there than the cost of his errors. British Petroleum management and Mr. Obama, please take note.