Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winter comes

Slept twelve hours today trying to get over a cold. Woke up to a changed city.





Rush hour was a three-hour period of blaring horns and distant sirens today.




Monday, December 28, 2009

Nevada - Christmas 09 Trip



When I joined the military the most common phrase I heard from people east of the Mississippi was: "So you're from Nevada, huh? I bet you've never seen snow before!"


The Red Rock loop



Bison







Washoe Valley







On the way home, Mt. Jefferson from 30,000 ft. This volcano has slept for over 10,000 years.



Back home. Mt. Hood in the background

"The Big Zero"

I'm not really a Paul Krugman fan, but I did find myself agreeing with this op-ed piece.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Screw you Mr. Cameron

I'm still not watching your overhyped piece of crap.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A good summary of major issues...

...that did not make the front page this year, courtesy of the journal Foreign Policy.

Some excellent observations on...

....the interactions of genes and environment in building personalities. Both the video and article provide an interesting possible answer for why some monkeys (and humans) never learn how to cope well with socialization demands despite being evolved social beings.




The full Atlantic article can be found here and does a fantastic job of capturing the complex context of gene-environment interactions and how a seemingly maladaptive trait can be conserved for its usefulness in extraordinary situations.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Playing with a new zoom feature on my camera

Also, I'm back to uploading large photos again as they do look so much more beautiful when you click on them.

The shiny blue glass tower to the left of the photo's center is a newly opened apartment building that generates much of its electricity through wind; uses solar heating for hot water; harvests rain water to save on energy transport costs; and recycles used "gray" water on site. It's also designed to be highly efficient with heating and cooling.





Two volcanoes, one shot. St. Helens center, Rainier left.



An OK looming portrait of Adams

Sunday, December 06, 2009

The Oatmeal's take...

...on why things go wrong during the Zombie apocalypse. Not suitable for work.

Cheers!

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Morning views

I wanted to do an entry on Orycon and my first con experience as a neo-professional writer. But, being in the middle of the end-of-term paper writing frenzy, that will have to wait.

In the meanwhile...morning views of the city

Foggy morning



The sun burning off the mist



Sunrise



Mt Hood and Tabor



Mt Adams the giant peaks over the Cascade mountain range



Mt Saint Helens in the foreground, Rainier in the distance.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Very cool film



Call it a kung-fu version of City of the Lost Children. Or maybe the Matrix meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Either way, it is perhaps the funnest indie fantasy film of the decade. The first five or so minutes are a little chintzy, but the rest is good.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Fall has come...

...to the Japanese maple outside my window.




Besides the Autumn poets sing
A few prosaic days
A little this side of the snow
And that side of the Haze --

A few incisive Mornings --
A few Ascetic Eves --
Gone -- Mr. Bryant's "Golden Rod" --
And Mr. Thomson's "sheaves."

Still, is the bustle in the Brook --
Sealed are the spicy valves --
Mesmeric fingers softly touch
The Eyes of many Elves --

Perhaps a squirrel may remain --
My sentiments to share --
Grant me, Oh Lord, a sunny mind --
Thy windy will to bear!

~Emily Dickinson


My favorite Fall poem remains Ms. Dickinson's The name -- of it -- is "Autumn"


The name -- of it -- is "Autumn" --
The hue -- of it -- is Blood --
An Artery -- upon the Hill --
A Vein -- along the Road --

Great Globules -- in the Alleys --
And Oh, the Shower of Stain --
When Winds -- upset the Basin --
And spill the Scarlet Rain --

It sprinkles Bonnets -- far below --
It gathers ruddy Pools --
Then -- eddies like a Rose -- away --
Upon Vermilion Wheels --

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Nothing Gold Can Stay




The Chinese maple outside my window has turned to green and gold fire. Here in the city the days have become gray, but that suits me after twenty years in the desert.

by Robert Frost
Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold,
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Decent



For those who like hard science fiction driven by flawed characters.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mt Tabor

The Portland metropolitan area contains the remains of five extinct cinder cone volcanoes



On the summit



500,000 years will take the edge off a volcano



Looking back towards downtown

Monday, November 09, 2009

Again...

...we really are living in the future. However, our awareness of its dangers has not yet caught up to that reality. Globally, several cities have had their power disrupted by IT attacks, banking systems have been compromised, and in the US the national power grid could be systematically destroyed in with commonplace technologies...


Watch CBS News Videos Online

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Gorge photos







All good things....

Two weeks after Macedonia I set out on vacation with my father and sister...



Northern Italy and Venice



















Lovely Heidelberg



Nuremberg the most German of cities. One of my favorite hangouts on this planet...







Last night in the Army



Drunken cretins



How many hours did we all spend on those benches waiting to get off work



The traditional hanging of the boots



I spent my last weekend in the Army in Vienna, a city of wedding cake buildings






America and Australia in the eyes of the Austrian Empire



Two days later, home in Nevada heading north...



Three generations of veterans: center, scout NCO WWII Pacific Theater; right, Air Force colonel Vietnam era; left, scout NCO Balkans peacekeeping era.