Flu

February 27, 2021

I came across an article from the associated press about the Flu.  While February usually finds us at the height of Flu season, that is not the case this year.  Instead, it has virtually disappeared in the US.  Experts provided two possible explanations.  The first is the masks, social distancing, and virtual schooling put in place for covid-19 helped in staving off the flu, and the push to get people vaccinated for flu and the reduced travel added to the decline.  The other possible explanation is the coronavirus pushed out the flu and cold viruses that are more common in the fall and winter.  That follows the pattern seen when certain strains of flu predominate over others.  Areas as distant as Maine Medical Center in Portland and Oregon’s Salem Hospital have not recorded a single case of flu.  Flu has long been the nation’s most infectious disease, blamed for 600-800,000 hospitalizations and 50-60,000 deaths annually.

Since I turned 65 my doctor told me getting a flu shot was something I needed to add to my list of required vaccinations.  This came at a time when the pandemic was ramping up and the Doctor’s Office did not have the shot.  My pharmacy refused to provide one because of “the covid issue.”  Instead, I went to an emergency clinic.  When the nurse finally came to my car she asked if I was allergic to the vaccine.  When I responded that I had never had one, she stopped and stared, “Really?” I had not been around anyone vulnerable and had “heard stories” about the shot giving you the flu. It seemed easier to avoid the hassle and not get a shot. I got my flu shot and had no adverse effects. Go figure.

While we may have been spared the 50,000 deaths from the flu, the 29 million cases and over 523,000 deaths from covid-19 have more than made up for them.  Six states have had over 1,000,000 infections and seven have had over 20,000 deaths.  As high as those numbers are, the 1918 influenza pandemic was deadlier.  The disease ravaged the world from February 1918 to April 1920.  It infected 500 million people, or about a third of the world’s population, in four successive waves.  The death toll is estimated between 20 to 50 million, although some say it may have been as high as 100 million.  Pathologists have suggested the virus originated in North America, but others blame the Chinese laborers brought to the front lines of World War I.  The disease spread globally as soldiers returned to their own countries.

Thoughts:  It seems there are a lot of people who are taking the same approach to precautions around coronavirus that I took toward the flu shot.  I am not vulnerable so why should I care?  While not vulnerable themselves, their grandparents, and other loved ones they met during the holidays were.  This created super spreader events after every holiday this winter.  Now that the vaccine is available, we have learned of people being wary of getting the shot because the have “heard stories” about its effects.  The known effect of the vaccine is even if you contract the virus, you are unlikely to go to the hospital and will not die.  It seems it might be easier to avoid the hassle and get a shot.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Visitor

February 26, 2021

Over the weekend Melissa became a visitor to our local hospital.  We had been frequent visitors two years ago while they struggled to determine the cause of stomach pain.  For the last two months Melissa has been making periodic trips to the doctor to overcome an infection.  When the fever spiked again, we went to find a solution.  I mention the earlier trip because of the difference this time.  We had entered a waiting room full of people and after only 20 minutes they did an initial intake.  It was another 45 minutes before we were escorted back to a room to wait for a nurse to take vitals.  This time, Melissa entered the vacant waiting area alone.  She was seen immediately and taken directly to an exam room.  This all happened while I sat outside in the car.

Although it was not freezing outside, it was cold.  That meant I would turn the car on to warm up and then turn it back off to not waste gas.  I had brought a book to read but could not get my mind to focus, wondering what was going on inside.  We are fortunate to both have cell phones and I got texts updating me on what was happening.  After a battery of texts Melissa told me they would not be read for three hours.  I sat and watched a steady stream of people entering and leaving the ER.  Many were on their own and if accompanied the extra person was sent back out to wait with me in the parking lot.  The new reality is one of isolation.  That is true for both the patient and loved ones.

Melissa texted me around midnight and said she was staying overnight and that I should go home.  The worries and separation kept me up several more hours, so I was up to receive a goodnight text at 2:30 am.  Melissa was still testing and not yet in a room.  The new visiting hours were confined to one person for four hours in the afternoon.  I was glad to have the opportunity to be a visitor as this has only been in effect for the last months.  By visiting time, they were ready to release her, so I collected fresh clothes and went on up.  All the doors to the hospital were locked, and it took twenty minutes to find how to enter the building.  When I did, I was checked for temperature and reason of visit and had a visitor band attached to my wrist.  Checkout was rapid and I wound my way through the maze of hallways to get back to the one entrance and my car.  I drove to another locked door to pick Melissa up at outpatient.  I was glad to know Melissa was fine and is now doing well.  My visitor experience gave me a small sense of the separation families and patients of covid-19 patients are going through.

Thoughts:  I was overwhelmed by the lockdown procedures that are in place throughout the hospital.  The only two entrances were for outpatient procedures and the ER.  Both had checking personnel and guards nearby to keep unwanted visitors from entry.  Temperatures, masks, and social distancing were a requirement, not an option.  The busy halls I was used to were devoid of traffic and the cafeteria was “workers only.”  While this made sense amid the pandemic, Melissa told me many of the workers preferred the calm brought by quarantine.  Not having to deal with the demands of visitors has eased some of the stress of caring for patients.  This seems another change that will not go back to usual.  Perhaps we should be more appreciative of the times when we can be together.  Follow the science.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

LOUD

February 25, 2021

The decibel difference between the TV shows I watch and the commercials they air have driven me crazy for decades.  As Melissa and I watch shows we may comment to one another, but any real conversation is saved for the commercials.  The problem is, the commercials are often so loud that we end up turning the sound off completely, rather than trying to talk, and hear, over the noise on TV.  That is despite the federal legislation banning broadcasters from boosting their signal during commercial times.  That applies for Cable companies as well.  Ten years after the bill passed it still seems to happen.

When I looked online, I found the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM ACT) requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to bar the audio of TV commercials from being broadcast louder than the program material they accompany.  This bill was the US Senate companion to proposed legislation in the House of Representatives.  Reportedly, Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif), wrote the bill after a loud commercial interrupted a family dinner.  When she asked her brother-in-law to turn down the volume, he allegedly said, “Well, you’re the congresswoman.  Why don’t you do something about it?”  The Senate unanimously passed the bill on September 30, 2010., and after some minor changes, the bill was signed into law by President Barack Obama on December 15, 2010.  It took effect on December 13, 2012.

Most TV commercials are created to be loud so you can hear the advertisement, and to get your attention.  While the CALM Act is in place, the FCC does not regulate the volume of commercials, nor the volume of TV programs.  The FCC does require broadcasters to limit the power that is used to transmit the signal.   Technically, that means a commercial cannot be any louder than the loudest portion of the TV program you are watching.  The problem comes when you are watching a loud action program with soft dialog.  When they cut to a commercial you hear a boost or fluctuation in the volume.  While that might be a reason, it cannot be the only one.  We have tremendous volume fluctuation even between commercials in the same ad slot.  While the FCC tells you to report the incidence, it is easier to turn off the sound if it is too LOUD.

Thoughts:  While the CALM Act is in place, it is obvious it is not always effective.  Several manufacturers have put a noise dampening system into their TVs to moderate the sound difference.  That extra expense would not be necessary if the difference did not exist.  Perhaps we need a CALM Act to moderate our online discussions as well.  While they may not be loud (except ALL CAPS), they can be vitriol.  What we need is to be calm, and to listen, and then think, all before firing off a vicious tweet.  This might even work in face-to-face communication.  It is certainly better than just turning off the sound if you think another’s opinion is too loud.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Drive

February 24, 2021

Since Melissa had the day off yesterday, we decided to go for an afternoon drive.  The day was in the mid-70’s and this was exactly why we had kept the SLK convertible.  A combination of cold weather and sitting during the winter meant that our battery had died.  I know I need to periodically fire up the engine and take it for a spin to keep a charge, but it has been too cold to mess with lately.  I keep a hand-held charger for just such occasions (and the boat motor) so I hooked it up and the engine began to purr.  I pulled out of the garage and brought down the top.  It was a great day for a drive.

Melissa gave me the option of going any direction I wanted.  The four o’clock traffic was so bad I had no choice but to turn right on the main road.  When we got to the edge of town I decided to go south as I wanted to take another look at a lake I have wanted to fish.  As I turned onto the road a sheriff car slid in behind me.  He no doubt thought my little red sports car would not be able to stay under the speed limit.  I put it on cruise control, and we enjoyed the birds and scenery that went by.  I could see the officer checking my registration with dispatch.  Even though he found nothing, he continued to follow (too close by the way) for the next six miles.  He finally went around when we got to the next town. 

Melissa told me to turn right at the intersection and we ended up in Oklahoma.  As we took the bypass around a small town, we passed another patrol car that slid in behind us.  I saw this was local police and was surprised when again we were closely followed for the next seven miles.  I set the control for the speed limit and tried to enjoy the drive.  Since we did not have a clear destination, I purposefully turned off into the next town.  We were not followed.  I decided to take the car north and ended up in Spiro, Oklahoma.  The road east out of Spiro took us to Poteau, and from there we crossed over into Arkansas and Fort Smith.  I knew Fort Smith was on the boarder but did not realize the southwest road did not cross the river.  Despite the distractions, it was nice to just get out and drive.

Thoughts:  When we stopped in Spiro, I came across a sign showing all the wonderful places to go in Southeast Oklahoma.  The roads were nice and there was natural beauty.  I knew a bit of the colorful history, especially its lawless attachment to Fort Smith.  I could not help but think we were identified as part of that wild lawlessness as we drove through the area.  A red convertible with its top down on a warm day is obviously up to no good (and speed!).  Twice I warranted tailing for miles at one mile below the speed limit waiting for me to do something wrong.  We recently watched the documentary, Driving While Black.  The documentary mainly spoke of how the automobile gave a sense of freedom to Black drivers and families.  However, the name comes from the perception that driving while Black was enough to pull a vehicle over on suspicion.  While we were not stopped, I did get a small sense of what it must feel like.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Senseless

February 23, 2021

The front-page of today’s paper carried an article about two trucks that had driven through a flock of gulls in as local city’s parking lot.  A description of the trucks was provided by a couple who were in the lot at the time spreading seed for the ring-billed gulls who had gathered there during the recent ice and snow.  Three of the birds were killed outright and a fourth had to be put down due to injuries.  The police department said they had never received so many calls for one incident.  The two suspects driving the trucks were found and cited for harassing wildlife.  When one of the feeders was asked for comment their emotional reply was, “It was just a senseless slaughter.

The Cornell Lab site describes the ring-billed gull as being comfortable around humans.  They are a migratory species, ranging from Canada in the north to Mexico in the south.  In the interior the gull nests near freshwater.  The gulls are often seen in large flocks into the hundreds and are known to frequent parking lots, garbage dumps, beaches, and fields.  The adult gulls can be differentiated from other gulls by a black band encircling the yellow bill.  Most of the gulls return to the same breeding spot every year, often nesting within a few meters from last year’s nest site. 

The paper’s story on the gulls continued buried back on page six.  The gulls are opportunistic scavengers, which leads them to seek out landfills and other human refuse sites.  This is not their natural food source.  Without human intervention they “feed on fish, insects, worms, grubs, and rodents” they find in the bodies of water or flooded agricultural fields near their nesting sites.  Lyndle Crownover of the Arkansas Game & Fish Commission commented that, “while people may be tempted to feed the gulls when they see them in parking lots, it’s not good for them.”  They are perfectly capable of finding natural food even in the ice and snow conditions we have had.  When humans do feed them, they become a nuisance with their droppings.

Thoughts:  One of the sights I took visitors when I lived in the Bay Area was Pier 39 in San Francisco.  This pier used to be a marina for 11 small craft, but in September 1989 it became the home for sea lions.  The sea lions draw huge crowds that watch them fight for space as they bask in the sun on the floating docks.  Owners of the boats which used to dock complained as the numbers rose, but news coverage brought attention, and the resulting tourist led to abandonment of the docks to the animals.  The crowds also brought gulls who brazenly feast off the trash of humans.  I have seen, and had, gulls take food from my hand when I was not paying attention.  They love the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream cones.  Feeding birds in the wild is discouraged because they are rarely fed a nutritious diet.  Instead, they fill up on the junk food humans provide and fail to eat the nutrients they need from natural sources.  When they congregate in flocks, they are a nuisance and humans attempt to drive them off (sometimes with trucks).  Both are senseless acts that harm the birds.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Normal

February 22, 2021

When I got up this morning the temperature was 45F on its way to 65F.  The snow that had blanketed the ground was nearly gone.  Now we are set for another week of warm weather, including 70F during the day tomorrow, before we drop back into our winter pattern of 50’s in the afternoon and high 30’s to low 40’s at night.  That means I can remove the afghans that have covered the outdoor succulents to protect them from the bitter cold.  This will allow them to breath again and hopefully recover in the sunshine we have predicted.  It seems that our crazy weather is finally going to get back to normal.

The front-page story in my newspaper this morning explained how nature had been impacted by the winter storm(s) we have just gone through.  When it snows the birds are not able to find their natural food sources on the ground and instead rely on bird feeders.  Dr. Ragupathy Kannan is an ornithologist with the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith and explained how the snow impacts wild populations.  One of the species are the “snowbirds” Melissa has loved to watch since childhood.  These are the Dark eyed Junco’s that tend to arrive at yard feeders with the first snowfall of the year.  While I have yet to identify several other prominent visitors, the Carolina Chickadees and Tufted Titmice (along with cardinals and robins I have seen) are also attracted to the feeders during snow.  Melissa and I have both enjoyed the antics as the birds have grappled for control of the seed.  Perhaps now they will get back to normal.

Like so many things, what creates hardship for one class provides a boon for another.  Ryan Pankau of the University of Illinois explained that Insects tend to bury their larva only to a depth to avoid the normal ground freeze.  This allows the insects to survive winter while making it easier for the new adults to emerge from the ground the next spring (I always wondered where they went, and what the Robins were feeding on my lawn during winter).   In Arkansas that is only a few inches.  The intense cold means the ground freezes deeper unless it is blanketed by the insulating snow.  While the birds are hindered, the insects they feed on benefit from the additional cover.  Snow insulates the ground and keeps it from a deep freeze.  This is the normal process of even a human impacted ecosystem.

Thoughts:  I was not surprised to find my feeders empty when I checked this morning.  I have been having to refill them more often during the cold and snow.  While it did not surprise me, I did find it interesting that the number of birds I have been seeing are declined now that natural sources are available.  We have been getting upwards to 50 birds of a variety of species daily, and this does not include the 30-40 blackbirds that descend and eat everything in sight.  When I put out seed today, there were a few birds who were instantly on the feeders, but the frenzy was over.  I have commented on the frenzy feeding that has happened at our grocery during the same period.  I have been pleased to see the relieve (food and water) that has poured into Texas and especially Houston amid their crises.  While we are not able to fly south as easily as the birds, we are able to transport the food and water normally available.  This is part of caring for each other.  Follow the science.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Ghosting

February 20, 2021

The new norm for social media prior to the pandemic was called ghosting.   Ghosting is a colloquial term used to describe the practice of “ceasing all communication and contact with a partner, friend, or similar individual without any apparent warning or justification and subsequently ignoring any attempts to reach out or communication made by said partner, friend, or individual” (is the definition long enough?).  The term originated in the early 2000’s, and the next decade media reported a rise in ghosting.  This was attributed to the increased use of social media and online dating apps.  Ghosting can be especially hurtful to the one ghosted, causing feelings of ostracism and rejection. Some mental health professionals consider ghosting a passive-aggressive form of emotional abuse.

Employee ghosting is rising in the business world as well as social media.  This began several decades ago as a corporate practice for potential employees.  In days of yore, when you filed out an application you would receive an acknowledgement letter, and if not selected for a follow-up interview, a rejection letter.  This was disappointing, but made it clear it was time to look elsewhere.  With an on-line application response shifted to an automated acknowledgement and a rejection email.  Now, there is rarely anything other than an automated response (if that) to the application and the only follow-up comes if you are part of an interview.  I found an online article by Kymberlie Krieger addressing how ghosting effects reputation.  Ghosting builds distrust between potential employees and employers and could cause a business to miss the perfect employee because of a “ghosting reputation.”  Employee ghosting has gone on for years, with employees ghosting by not showing up to work rather than giving a professional two weeks’ notice.  When employees receive the same treatment from employers, it seems acceptable to return the favor.  This implies the adage, “What’s good for the goose . . . “

In his article, “In Defense of Ghosting”, Alexander Abad-Santos states: “the thing that undermines these diatribes against ghosting is that…[we] do not know what happened with the ghost.”  Clearly, the relationship/job did not work out, but sometimes we just cannot accept the apparent rejection.  Abad-Santos continues that ghosting is as clear as any other form of rejection.  The reason we complain is because we wanted a different outcome.  I rate this one step below the rudeness of breaking up with a text.  I guess I am just old school.

Thoughts:  With all the cold and snow across the country another form of ghosting has taken hold.  Rather than building snow people, families are constructing snow ghosts, using light sticks for eyes.  Preferably you build several of these snow ghosts, and then place the light sticks so they are looking at your neighbor’s house.  With the lights shining in the snow and darkness, this creates an eerie look when they look out their window.  My mom’s response to the trend was, “Best be good friends though.”  Ghosting in social media and business implies the ghoster is not good friends with the ghosted.  Rudeness should not be acceptable in any forum, even as etiquette seems to be becoming a lost art.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Failed

February 19, 2021

The AP reported Thursday that Texas was “seconds and minutes” away from an even greater catastrophe when the decision was made to bring in what were supposed to be rolling blackouts.  Officials at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) said when a winter storm took more than half of its winter generating capacity offline early Monday operators had to act fast to prevent a worst-case scenario.  That scenario would have disabled substations, leaving many Texans without power for months.  Even with the action, so much power generation was knocked offline that the blackouts continue for some.  By Thursday, 325,000 homes and businesses were without power.  When Senior ERCOT director Dan Woodfin was asked how regulators could stop this from happening again, he said one of the biggest problems was natural gas wellheads freezing.  Winterization of the wellheads was recommended after the same thing happened over a decade ago.  Obviously, ERCOT had failed to act.

The intense cold Texas is experiencing is the result of an Arctic Inversion, and the Arctic inversion is related to the snow and ice surfaces in the area.  Melting ice and snow allow the cold air to rush down across North America while warmer air moves north.  Most scientists blame the cause of the melt on rising greenhouse gases.  The US had committed to combat this problem as part of the Paris climate accord of 2016.  The last administration pulled out of the accord, but Biden signed an executive order on his first day in office reversing the previous executive order.  The withdrawal from the Paris accord was announced in 2019 but it did not become effective until Nov. 4, 2020, the day after the election.  The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Thursday the importance of the American re-entry is a “political message that’s being sent.”  So was our failure to act.

At least 27,000 Houston natural gas customers received email notifications Thursday that their CenterPoint Energy bill was ready, and that it was $202,102.16.  The same customers who were trying to survive without heat during the power outage were billed six figures for the heat they do not have.  The utility said the power outage caused a computer problem and assured everyone that the bills were a mistake.  In an apologetic statement CenterPoint said, “Customers do not owe this amount, and it will not be drafted from their account.”  The company failed again.

Thoughts:  While “Failure is Not an Option” is a phrase associated with Gene Kranz and the Apollo 13 Moon landing, he never said it.  It instead came from the script writers for the movie based on the event.   When they interviewed Kranz they asked if there were times when people panicked.  His response was, “No, when bad things happened, we just calmly laid out all the options, and failure was not one of them.”  the writers changed this to, “Failure is not an option.”  Both the utility companies and government had been warned these events would happen but failed to act.  When the freeze happened, the leaders claim it is just a 500-year event.  Texas has faced a growing number of 500-year events this last decade, and they are increasing in intensity.  If we do not take steps now, we are assured this trend will continue.  Failure is not an option.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Meatloaf

February 18, 2021

I did something yesterday that I never dreamed I would do; I ate a meatloaf sandwich.  While I love meatloaf, the thought of making it into a sandwich always seemed disgusting.  I do recall my dad eating meatloaf sandwiches on the rare occasions where there was any left, but I do not think anyone else in the family did.  When I mentioned my sandwich to Melissa, she said her dad ate meatloaf sandwiches as well.  Melissa also thought the sandwich sounded disgusting.  I have seen this delicacy on the menus of roadside diners I have stopped in along back roads.  It was usually accompanied by fried baloney and spam, also liked by my dad.  Perhaps it is a cultural thing.

I am not sure why I thought the sandwich would be bad.  After all, meatloaf is just hamburger (I like to mix in a half pound of sausage) mixed with onions, crackers for filler, and an egg (salt and pepper to taste and put ketchup on top if you are wanting a recipe).   I once asked my mom whether the crackers were used to hold the loaf together or were added by her to stretch the amount of meat she served.  I was assured it was in the recipe, and every recipe I have seen online includes crackers in the mixture (or breadcrumbs for the “upper crust”).  I used a ciabatta roll with mayonnaise, a slice of Colby cheese, and a pickle on the side for my sandwich (if you want a recipe).  The meatloaf sandwich was excellent. 

I recall going to a friend’s house as a boy and his mom served us lunch consisting of a cold hotdog with a slice of white bread.  I had never eaten a cold hotdog and usually had the warm dog served on a bun.  It did not taste much different than baloney, but it was not what I was used to.  After living as an adult in California for several years I came to visit my brother’s house in Kansas.  When lunch came around, he asked if I would like a sandwich.  I said, “Sure, I could take some ham.”  He responded that he did not have any ham, and that it was baloney or nothing.  Baloney had been my staple growing up in Kansas, but the baloney was not as common in California and costs even more than the processed ham.  By this time in life, I knew it was a cultural thing.

Thoughts:  We have all heard family stories about recipes being passed down from mother to daughter.  The first time I made meatloaf for Alex’s mom she asked where I got the recipe.  Since I rarely use recipes and she did not like things made without one, I told her it was a family recipe handed down from grandfather to grandson.  Had she known either of my grandfathers she would have known that could not have happened (neither cooked).  Her mother taught her to cook using recipes and I taught myself by trial and error.  Most of the problems we experience when interacting with another person or group come from the cultural differences we grew up with.   I have discounted meatloaf sandwiches my entire life.  When I ate my cold hotdog, when I ate the meatloaf sandwich, I found them not too different than what I was used to.  This often happens when we stop and enjoy the variety of life around us.  We find different does not have to mean bad.  Do the work.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

Canada

February 17, 2021

The cold and snow have kept Melissa and I inside for nearly a week.  Since I needed to mail some letters for work, Melissa decided we needed to take the Jeep out to see how well it did on the ice and snow packed roads.  We drove around to several lakes where we fish (frozen over), did some mandatory doughnuts in the parking lots, and drove into the unpaved areas.  When we were leaving, I noticed a large flock of birds sitting on the ice in one of the coves.  I could not tell what they were but took a picture.  When I blew the shot up later at home, I identified them as Canada geese.

When I looked online it said while the Canada goose (Branta canadensis) is native to arctic and temperate regions of North America, its migration occasionally reaches northern Europe.  It has also been introduced to the United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, New Zealand, Japan, Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands.  Like most geese, the Canada goose is primarily herbivorous and normally migratory, and it tends to be found on or close to fresh water.  The goose is extremely adept at living in human-altered areas.  Canada geese establish breeding colonies in urban and cultivated habitats, which provide food and few natural predators.  These geese are often considered a pest species because of its excrement, depredation of crops, noise, aggressive territorial behavior (toward humans and animals), and a habit of begging for food (caused by human hand feeding).

I lived in a townhouse on a small creek when I was in Utah.  One night about midnight I awoke to a knocking on the sliding glass bedroom door leading to the patio.  Since my bed was only 30 inches from the door, I was alarmed.  I got up and eased the curtains back to see who was there.  The knocking happened again, and I looked down to see a large Canada goose standing on my patio.  It had seen its reflection in the window and was fighting the strange goose who had challenged it.  It decided to take up residence on my patio and washing it off (daily) killed all the grass around my back yard.  I threatened to have goose for Christmas, but it left just in time.

Thoughts:  While I have seen geese sitting on a frozen pond, I have also noticed patches of open water near them.  There is a bit of a question whether the geese purposefully keep the ice open or whether it was just the last patch to freeze.  The best answer I could find was, yes and no.  As the ice freezes the geese are concentrated near small patches of open water.  The movement of the geese stir the water and help keep the ice from freezing.  However, if it is cold enough it will freeze, and the geese will move.  I also found the name of the bird is actually “Canada goose,” not “Canadian goose.”  The author of the article suggested to say Canadian suggests the gooses’ citizenship (ha ha).  We can all continue to learn if we are willing to search for different answers.   Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.