Mar 31, 2009
The Anchorage Daily News has some interesting photos of the Mt. Redoubt ash fall in Anchorage and the surrounding area and the plumes from the recent eruptions. Here's a sample of two from the over 120 photos readers submitted at ADN. The ash fall has been a pain for the folks up there. It's high abrasive, so it's bad news to get in your eyes, breathe in, etc. and it's hard on car finishes, air filters, etc. Hopefully the worst is over, but for geology nerds, this is fascinating stuff.
Mar 30, 2009
Oregon News ran an article this weekend, I think, about health issues associated with wind turbines. "Wind Turbine Syndrome" apparently manifests itself with symptoms that include headaches, dizziness and memory loss. This is attributed to prolonged exposure to the noise of the turbines and vibration.
Mar 29, 2009
Mar 27, 2009
Spring is almost here, and we at Cyclopath Headquarters would like to enter the mainstream cycling season as the best resource we can be.
Some parts of the map still need attention from human eyes and minds -- i.e., yours! To make this easier, we have made two major improvements:
1. We have made Cyclopath's editing tools easier to use, and we have produced videos showing the systems's features and how to use them. You can view these tutorials online right here.
2. We have created a system which will automatically direct you to areas of the map that need work (more bikeability ratings entered or edits to the geography of the map itself). This link will take you to such an area and provide instructions.
Please click the link whenever you have a few minutes to help the Cyclopat community. This work will improve the Cyclopath experience for all cyclists, particularly improving the quality of computed routes.
If you have any questions, reply to this e-mail or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks, and we hope you enjoy Cyclopath!
and the rest of the Cyclopath team
Mar 26, 2009
A co-worked sent me a link today to an interesting Wall Street Journal article that talks about how water (or lack thereof) is beginning to influence the selection of electric generation options in the West. One of the constraints that needs to be evaluated and managed when siting conventional generation is water. Conventional generation requires a steady stream of water for cooling and/or steam. However, water is a scarce commodity in the West, and that scarcity is making wind power and solar power, which do not require large volumes of water, to become a more attractive option.
Mar 24, 2009
A very pretty song from Glen Hansard (of The Frames) and his sweetie Marketa Irglova. They did a sound track together for some movie that my wife saw and she connected me to this song.
Side note - it looks like it would be a long and difficult assignment to be Glen Hansard's guitar.
Mar 23, 2009
Mar 22, 2009
Headed out to the St. Croix river valley late this morning to look for signs of spring. Prescot, WI has seemingly been abandoned by the waterfowl, who are sick of that scene and exploring newly opened water elsewhere, apparently.
Mar 21, 2009
I first met Mike in 1987 or so, when Molly brought me out to her parents house to meet them. for the first time We had been going out for awhile and it was time to meet the folks, so we piled into her K car and headed from Madison, WI to Delavan, MN, arriving late at night, after everyone else had gone to bed. There was a note on the counter instructing Molly to "put me in the basement" (it turns out there was a guest bed down there).
We got to know each other during that visit, which included a trip to the local watering hole with Molly, playing "500" and on an errand (that I think was fabricated) that he and I did to go pick up a computer that was being repaired in Wells, MN. That side trip started with the now famous words, "The roosters need to get out of the hen house". We stopped to admire the new Wells waster water treatment facility on the way back. It was actually a lot of fun.
I was lucky enough to marry into the family in April, 1990. He and his brothers ran the Willette Seed Farm for many years, taking over from their father. The farm was a very impressive operation, and was the source of many funny stories and fond memories (The Big Stuck is a favorite). Too many stories and memories to even begin to try and capture in this post.
He was great, he was a role model in many ways, and we are all going to miss him very much!
For the most part, I have been very happy with my Mac Book. It's been trouble-free, fairly easy to use and has more than enough power for what I do on a computer. My only real frustration has been the lack of a right-click feature. I do a lot of those "right click" functions regularly and miss the ease of grabbing a link or a photo when I see something on the internets that grabs my attention.
Mar 19, 2009
I turned in my paid parking pass at my office on March 1 and have been getting to work on a "Go-To" card with no real problems or inconveniences, and for the most part, I have been able to use my bike for the other miscellaneous errands.
It's a lot easier than I anticipated to not use a car at all during the week because of my 9 to 5 (actually more like 7:30 - 5:30) job. I can take either of two routes into downtown and the time difference between them is only about 10 minutes, so I take whichever bus comes first. I read book, don't talk to my Bus Friend, and then walk a few blocks downtown and I am in the office. Piece of cake. On the way home, I can get off at either Bloomington Ave. (close to home) or Chicago Ave. (close to some shops) so I can generally fend for myself to and from work. Minor errands are easy on a bike and I have a grocery store, a convenience store and a dry cleaner close by (within walking distance, in fact), so that helps.
I had to go into the office this weekend and rode in for that errand. Luck was with me, as I said before, because it was warm and beautiful (but a little windy) on Saturday.
I will not likely become a car-free zealot; I can see a place for cars in most people's lives and do not resent people for owning and driving them. I can, however, also foresee becoming a one car family in the not-so-distant future. With the Mighty Tundra sitting idle in front of my house, I wonder if someone else could perhaps put it to better use. That said, it's paid off, I like the truck, and I can afford the insurance, so I am not inclined to make too hasty a decision about that. Perhaps a loan to a needy and worthy relative might be in order...
Mar 18, 2009
I forgive them the title - it's a well worn cliche that the press cannot resist and I have seen it on every project I have been involved with.
Mar 16, 2009
Mar 15, 2009
Mar 13, 2009
- Don't really acknowledge them - this is a subtle friendship. You can nod at them, but much more than that starts to get a little creepy.
- Try not to look at what they are reading, that starts to get a little creepy, too.
- Act like you could care less if they sit with you or not. Being eager to sit with you Bus Friend is a little creepy.
- Watch out for your bus friend; if their mittens fall on the disgusting floor let them know; don't help them too much or things start to get creepy.
- Do not breathe through you mouth when sitting with your Bus Friend.
- Always sit in the same location if you want to keep your Bus Friend. Changing seats from your usual spot says to your Bus Friend "Fuck you! I moved so you won't be able to find me!". Nobody needs that kind of rejection at 7:00 AM. Unless you mean it.
- If your Bus Friend does not show up one day, but is there the next day, it is permissible to raise your eye brows in acknowledgement when you see each other. Anything more than that gets kind of creepy.
Mar 11, 2009
I am very sad to say that my trusty, 19-year old cat, Martha (aka Little Cat or simply "Little"), has passed on.
We got her almost 19 years ago from some trailer park kind of duplex in South Minneapolis. We thought at the time that she would be a good companion to Big Cat, who came into our lives about one year earlier. It turns out Big and Little never really got along all that well, but they reached A Certain Understanding and were companions, if not buddies, for nearly 10 years.
Big Cat passed on when we were living in Connecticut, back in 2002 or so, and Little really came into her own after that. She became the queen of the castle and very much enjoyed being the only Cat. Big was a very large black and white tuxedo cat, and was very close to Molly, while Little was smaller, long haired grey and white with unusual markings, and she was more bonded to me.
Little (and Big) accompanied us from Minnesota to Connecticut. Neither of us will ever forget driving from Minneapolis to Guilford with two cats in the back of my Jeep. After the Northeast stint, Little came with us to Alaska, and from Alaska back to Minnesota once more. She was the most well-traveled cat I have known. She prospered in each location, and easily became a Connecticat, and then an Arctic Cat, and finally a Minnesota kitty once more.
One of her favorite things was to sit in my lap while I read the paper and push her head into my left hand, using it like a sling. She would zone out for along time while I read the paper and drank my morning coffee. Her second favorite thing was to sit on the desk next to the computer with me while I typed, surfed, blogged, etc.
She had a great life and we enjoyed having her in our life a lot. I wish she had seen one more summer, sitting on the deck in the sun, but it was not meant to be. We will miss her (a lot), but understand that things change. And I expect we'll meet up again at some point down the road.
Mar 8, 2009
Vancouver! That's where...
Mar 4, 2009
Mar 1, 2009
As we round the corner into March, I am glad to begin putting this winter behind us. I long for warn evenings, thunder storms, the smell of rain, and going bare foot.
For now, I have to settle for thinking about that, but maybe within the next month or so, I'll start getting some of my wishes.