Thursday, December 2, 2010

Our City At Work


Portland OR, led by Sam Adams (aka Mayor Creepy) and his happy band of sustainable bicycling, mass transit enthusiasts has opted for redistributing our property taxes via a mass printing campaign.

Yesterday I came home from work and found this colorful reusable shopping bag waiting for me on my front porch.




Inside the bag there was a veritable cornucopia of brochures, maps, guides, guide books, and more. There were materials from the local bicycle consortium, the department of transportation, Tri-Met, the Water Bureau, Office of Sustainability ad nausium. I am guessing there was at least $75.00 worth of printed materials. Of course this doesn't include the cost of the production, not to mention the massive employment rolls of the City required to produce this.
At first I was outraged at this absurd waste of money by our City. Then the Lady Wife pointed out that all this largesse was FREE!. When I reminded her that our taxes paid for all this, she pointed out that she had actually requested this material, and was delighted that the City could provide all this great information for FREE!
I guess it is FREE but I would prefer that we could fund our schools, patch the holes in our streets, replace the Sellwood bridge, and provide police and fire protection. At least now I have plenty of fuel for lighting the barbeque...

Friday, October 22, 2010

Just when I thought it couldn't get any worse...


The local Fox affiliate in Portland brings us this lovely pictorial of Area Man who strives to be the most tatooed person in the world. Having run out of skin surfaces he recently had the whites of his eyes tatooed as well. It really is difficult, yet fascinating, trying to imagine what is going on in this man's mind.
If you enjoy the truly creepy, check out the following link:
http://www.kptv.com/slideshow/news/25448712/detail.html

Saturday, October 9, 2010

More on Carbon Sequestration


Brother Dave followed up on comments regarding carbon sequestration in forests in my previous post with the following erudite comments:

Dean,

Per your request I looked at your latest posting. I have always been
of the view (without data of course) that a mature forest (read "old
growth") is probably not sequestering much or any carbon on an
incremental basis. Admittedly there is a huge amount of carbon locked
up in those big trees, but that is not really the policy issue. The
analysis should always be at the margin. How much annual incremental
carbon is sequestered (through tree growth) or released (through tree
death or harvest and resulting decomposition) is the question the
analysis should be focused on. I think the greenies tend to confuse
the debate by focusing on a static analysis rather than a dynamic one.

It sounds like the site you were visiting had slow growth rates
resulting from 100 year old logging practices and resulting site index
damage. OK, not much incremental sequestration and if there are some
really old trees around which are falling down it could be negative.
As an alternative think back to the trip we took to Mt. St. Helens a
few years back. Remember the Weyco noble fir forest that had been
planted up there. Those trees looked like they were growing so fast
that you could hear them grow if you were quiet enough at night. The
incremental carbon sequestration on that site had to be quite large
compared to the site you were looking at and even bigger than the
adjoining federal lands where no replacement timber had been planted.

This tends to lead to an argument that we should liquidate old growth
and plant new trees which we pick for rapid growth and then apply a
variety of growth generating silvicultural practices. Makes sense in
the abstract, but I am not sure it is quite that simple. First you
have to consider what happens to the old growth forest you liquidate.
About the best you can do with that is convert it to building products
and put it into structures which will defer the carbon release for
another 100 years or so. As to the slash and residuals fro the
manufacturing process the preferred prescription seems to be to use it
for energy generation. Those of us in my industry and the biofuels
industry like to argue that any carbon released in that process is
irrelevant because of the replacement sequestration occurring in the
tree farm. Fair enough, so long as you don't count the tree farm
twice that way, once for the benefit of the guy who owns it and once
for benefit of the guy who is burning the slash and residuals.

A better solution is to maximize the recovery from the log/tree into
building materials and other useful products which do not release the
carbon for an extended period. Is there a process to turn slash into
a solid object such as a plastic? If so how much energy does that
process consume. This gets really complicated. Another question that
occurs to me is the rate at which growing trees sequester carbon. I
can just about guarantee that if you plotted annual sequestration
versus tree age, it would not be a straight line. It would start out
very low (because the tree is very small) and end very low (because
the tree is not growing). Again, however, no data. However, all this
means is that the replacement of old growth with a new tree farm does
not give you a year one payback. It will take time before the
incremental sequestration of the tree farm catches up and "covers" the
carbon released as a result of the harvest. All nice in theory but
pretty much worthless speculation without real data. This is the kind
of question where the assumptions swallow the answer and site
differences will yield significant variances in outcome.

Oh well. Way to complicated for this mere finance lawyer. I have to
go and prepare to teach a class to a bunch of third year law students
on deal making.


DGG

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wind River Canopy Crane

Yesterday I had the rare opportunity to visit the Wind River Forest Experiment station and ascend into the canopy of an old growth douglas fir forest in the gondola of a large (250') construction crane. The crane which has been in use for 12 years is used by scientists from UW and the Forest Service to conduct research into the ecosystem of the old growth forest. The views were awsome and I was able to restrain my urge to flee long enough to be strapped into the gondola for the ride. The following video is narrated by one of the scientists as we ascend alongside a 700 year old douglas fir.

video

I have long suspected that the contribution of forests by way of carbon sequestration to the slowing or elimination of global warming is to a great extent wishful thinking. I believe this because a great deal of the biomass (including, leaves, stems, branches, dead trees etc.) release their CO2 back into the atmosphere as a result of metabolic respiration (decomposition). Consequently the net carbon sequestration is demonstrably less than the gross amount. In conversation with the lead scientist on site I learned that this is a major area of study for the project. They are actually measuring (atomospheric sampling and isotopic analysis) the quantity of CO2 that is absorbed on site and the quantity released. This conversation took place in a 100 year old stand of douglas-fir. The site had been logged by steam donkey in 1910 and badly damaged in the process. Heavy soil compaction and destruction of the understory has resulted in a slow growing stand of undersized trees of very low productivity. When asked about carbon sequestration in this site Ken (lead scientist) replied that this forest unit was a net producer of CO2. This study is currently in pre-publication stage and is being submitted to Science magazine. I look forward to reading it.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Guess what Steve's new hobby is!

My pal Steve just landed this 1983 Cadillac Deville "Rennaisance" This beauty was an aftermarket production by Wisco of Roseville MI. Both Wisco and R. S. Harper, firms which were best known for building "pimp cars," produced limited editions for those requiring that extra image bump that only a truly pimped out caddy can provide. Their customized features made ordinary Cadillacs "distinctively different" and "elegantly impressive". Wisco Cadillac Coup deVille came with custom, padded landau top, opera windows, door saddle trim, non-functional landau bars, chrome roof arch and chrome belt molding, limousine rear window, custom deck wheel and lower deck trim, and the most awsome "Rolls Royce" style grill work ever.





This baby has only 54,000 miles and runs great. I confess I didn't actually drive it on the road for fear of being pulled over for contributing to the delinquency of myself.
Every red-blooded American male should want one of these!



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A Moose is Loose


This morning, imagine my surprise on arrival at Anchorage South HS to find we were sharing the parking lot with a large and rather unfriendly moose.
There is actually a 10' high moose fence surrounding the school to keep these critters out but there is nothing to stop them from coming in the main entrance just like any other SUV.
We followed/herded this fellow back out the driveway where he decided to explore the front garden of the residence across the street. No one seemed to worked up about his visit. Seems like a normal occurance in the Anchorage burbs. Enjoy following video:


video

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Northern California Sequoia Sempervirens


The Lady Wife and I recently visited the Redwoods in Northern California. We spent most of our time visiting the major parks just south of Crescent City. We camped at Gold Bluffs beach (oceanside of Prairie Creek State Park). It was pretty cold, foggy, windy. Just 1 mile or so inland we enjoyed beautiful sunshine. The first major grove of redwoods we visited was named after Lady Bird Johnson who dedicated the Redwood National Park in 1968.
Please note the epicormic branch on the side of this tree. These poorly secured branches arise in response (I think) to openings in the canopy yielding sunshine previously not available. If climbing, it is probably not a good idea to attach your rope to one of these.


As we walked the trail in the footsteps of Lady Bird we came upon this circle of trees. They are certainly many hundreds of years old, if not thousands. I am wondering if the circle formation is an example of a "fairy ring" where trees were propogated from the base of a fallen tree in a circle around the stump or root wad.

The tree I am standing in is an excellent example of the redwood's ability to withstand a cataclysmic fire. The heartwood was completely hollowed out to some 50 or 60 feet above my head. It would seem that the dry heartwood of the tree burned while the much wetter sapwood remained and protected the cambium from the fire inside the tree. I don't think I would want to be sheltering here in a big windstorm.





Here's another beautiful circle of trees at Jededian Smith State Park.




While redwoods are quite resistant to attack by fungi and insects they are not impervious to same as is evidenced by this conk (fruiting body) about 20 feet up the bole of this living tree.





Still at Jededian Smith, here's a nice example of a nurse log.







A redwood grove is definitely not the place to be in a windstorm. This tree literally exploded on impact with the ground when it came down. The park staff had cut through the pieces of the trunk to restore the trail.
I encourage anyone who has not visited these amazing trees to get in the car and head south!






Monday, August 23, 2010

A Bolus is what you might cough up...


If you were a ruminant, or perhaps this could apply to our cat Dexter coughing up a big nasty hairball, but actually I am thinking of the campers we met on our recent expedition to Bolin Lake.

After visiting the Redwoods in Northern CA we took a long cut over the Siskiyou Mountains (Hwy 96 closed in winter) to Happy Camp, Seiad Valley and eventually hitting I5 north of Yreka. On our way over the Siskiyou mountains we saw a sign for the aforementioned Bolin Lake. We met some bear hunters who allowed that this was a very nice little lake with camping and brook trout. On arriving at the lake we found a very nice camp site right on the shores of the sub-alpine jewel. Our joy however was short lived. The group camping up the hill from us was enjoying top ten country music at relatively high volume. I made up an excuse to visit them to check it out. The group seemed to consist of 20 something female micro-cephalic douchebags who could just as well have been camping in a Walmart parking lot. When I approached I immediately noticed a very significant pile of empties next to their tent. I enquired if they intended to stay up late listening to their crappy music. They replied that this was indeed their intent and looked to have enough Bud Light in stock to keep the "good times" rolling.
In addition to skanks out camping we met our next door neighbors who while stinking drunk had managed to haul a big-ass travel trailer up the very narrow and precipitous logging road to the lake. They arrived in a cloud of dust and greeted us effusively with tales of the gentleman's military experience and love of scuba diving. They showed every sign of wanting to visit more, a lot, and frequently. The lady wife was scared. I was a little annoyed but more entertained. I know I wouldn't want to meet this yahoo on a blind curve. We enjoyed eating our sandwiches on the bank, I tried casting (without luck) for trout.
We decided to preserve our sanity and head on down the road. We arrived an hour later at the infamous Happy Camp. After loading up on a few necessities we headed out of town heading east. It is interesting to note that Happy Camp very proudly declares itself to be the Bigfoot capitol of the world. Please note life size replica that welcomes you to town!

Another 20 minutes down the road we arrived at Thompson Creek Lodge. Nice people, quiet, kitchenettes, lawn, beauftiful trees, the creek itself and the Klamath River. Much better than trying to deal with the aformentioned morons at Bolus er... Bolin Lake. I hope to return someday when they are not there...
Nevertheless fair readers, please do not let this cautionary tale deter you from visiting the Siskiyou Mountains of S. OR and N. CA. If you have the capacity there are many lakes and beautiful streams available to the hiker. Camp skanks and drunken motor home types do not hike.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Vindictive Cat

This post comes to us courtesy of Jack Bog's blog. It is a real Craig's List advert (expired). Except for a few minor details I thought the seller was describing our cat Dexter, but on further study I must confess that this cat is worse than Dexter. Herewith:

Vindictive Cat free to home (portland)
Date: 2010-08-08, 11:13AM PDTReply to: This Cat is 12 years old. It is very cute and has a long tail, so it will look good sitting in your window while you are away! It has two looks on its face at all times 1) surprise. 2) angry glare. It has always been vindictive and angry. It will shred your arms to the bone if picked up, so handling is not advisable. Cat will use litter box only once and then considers it soiled and will choose your chair (or elsewhere) instead. Free *1 month supply/ 5 gallon bucket of Nature's Miracle* will accompany Cat to new home. Cat hates other animals and children and people so please be an animal free and kid free and spouse/friend/roommate free home. Cat can only live with one Person. Cat hates for Person to have other people over, so you shouldn't have friends or it will pee in their purse or on their shoes. Person should be strong of mind and body and not at home much, as cat is not into interaction. Interaction with its Person makes Cat angry, and it will vomit on your pillow in retaliation. Cat hates to be inside too long, but will not go through doors as it hates doorways. You must chase it outside with clacking salad tongs. Cat's *favorite salad tongs will be provided for free* and will accompany Cat to new home. Cat hates to be outdoors for too long as it prefers to pee, poop and vomit on your things, it likes to do this to claim its Person (this Person could be you!). Cat will come inside easily at dinnertime, no salad tongs necessary. Cat will vomit once during, and up to three times after dinner, usually on pillow, duvet, or laundry. Sometimes it will vomit in doorways. Sometimes it will just poop in these places. Other places Cat will poop: in front of refrigerator, in front of windows, near the litterbox, in front of teevee, on top of you if you are around for too long. Cat should not have access to any bathrooms as it hates bathmats and will destroy them on sight with a barrage of pee and poop and finally clawing it to shreds. Other things Cat will claw to shreds: arms, face, carpet, pillow, chair, laundry. Cat has a loud obnoxious yowl to indicate when it is angry. The yowl is akin to that of a rabid zombie on the make and is quite terrifying, so you would be well advised to take heed and figure out what Cat wants. If you haven't cleaned the litterbox in less than an hour, check that first. It may want you to provide running drinking water from the faucet. It WILL get on the counters, you should not interfere or you WILL be sorry. If yowling occurs between the hours of Noon and 7:00 pm, it may require feeding. Cat will attack you for your food, so it is not advisable to eat in the house. If not fed what you are eating, Cat will knock the dishes off the table in retaliation and eat the shards of glass and porcelain that fall, so that you will be required to take it to the vet. It likes the attention from the vet. Cat will look sweet and pitiful at vet's office and as I said before, Cat is very cute. No one will believe when you try to tell them what Cat is capable of, so don't try. They will look at you as if you are the problem. I will understand your situation and you can call me in an emergency to talk about Cat. * 1 year of free consulting and phone support * comes with Cat. I will not be available in person for support, Cat will not like it and it will escalate situation. Other things to be aware of with Cat. Cat has LONG hair and is prone to fur balls and the vomiting of hairy, slimy bits. This can not be helped. Cat hates any glass of drinking water to be left about and will drink from it and knock it over. You should not drink water from glasses. Cat does not like for its Person to sleep. It will walk/stand on your face with one razor sharp claw in your nostril and yowl like a zombie, so you would be well advised to stay awake and always be ready to attend to Cat. Cat weaves evil spells and makes hexes. Many do not believe this is true, but I am convinced of this fact. Cat will place spells on you while you sleep or read or watch teevee. I think that is the bulk of the information I can provide about Cat. Cat is up to date on shots, sterilized and is physically healthy, it should live on for several more years. Please bring heavy cloth sack, a metal box or crate, face protection (I use a hockey goalie helmet) and long leather gloves when coming to pick up Cat. I will not be available to assist in transporting Cat. Thanks for looking. EDIT WORTHY OF NOTE: Updating ad to clarify that Cat is not abused. Cat is LOVED... from a safe distance, we are experienced animal people. You must love Cat or you will not make it long. Cat has always been uptight and has never been the subject of an abusive situation. We actively love Cat. Look how cute!! But it is hard. We do not abuse Cat with clacking tongs. Cat needs a lot of encouragement to go out, and hates when you have tongs...so free tongs for you...use them as you will. No, we didn't let Cat eat shards of glass, but Cat would eat the shards if not herded off. Cat does look cute and act innocent for vet. I really didn't expect anyone to come forward to take Cat given the extent of the disclosure I have given. Offers will be the subject of careful, but unlikely, consideration given the only people who would possibly want this Cat are going to sell the poor animal to a lab or have 100 other Cats at home. We have tried it all and consulted with consultants. The cat is 12 years old for crying out loud! We are tired. If you have the perfect situation, and you know how to deal with a Cat like this one, and you are sane, write a proposal and we will give it careful scrutiny. For those giving free advice, please bring it on! Will welcome ideas - provided you know something of what you are talking about. Here's the skinny: Cat has been in care of current owner since kittenhood. Cat was in an apartment fire once - it was next door but, you know, chaos and trauma ensued. Cat has always been "particular" unless in the EXACT RIGHT situation, which is with ONE Person and an "always open and never closed" Cat door to outside area. Cat will not push open a flap...hates doorways. NO other pets (poops in their food bowls). And being always catered to as if in slight fear of Cat. We have 4 cat boxes, each cleaned every day, not enough for Cat. Yes, we've tried the water fountain from Sky Mall magazine, Cat hates the fountain. Cat wants a personal fresh mountain stream or a constantly running tap. Given ALL of these things consistently, Cat will occasionally cuddle with knees at bedtime and purr loudly...lest you move with the intention to do ANYTHING. Cat will then flick the tail in your face, and as I said, the tail is very long. Or Cat will pound on the bathroom door to attack the bathmat, or later in the night, your laundry (or worse). Cat is female. Cat never forgets a slight and her slights are many. She's just a weird Cat, physically healthy, gets regular checkups with vet to prove it. We have 4 other very healthy, contented and happy pets. Thanks everyone for your concerns. Cat probably thanks you too in her way.
Location: portland
it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Cautionary Tale

Yesterday we were working on cleaning out our basement and the Lady Wife took it upon herself to inventory a load of old Christmas cards. She found one that I will never forget...

Many years ago the Lady Wife and I had the good fortune to live and work in Japan. We lived in the far North of Aomori Prefecture (Shimokita Peninsula) in the little backwater of Mutsu. While we had many Japanese friends we were guilty as most expatiates of some degree of gentle mocking of the local culture and the occasional bout of sarcasm. Our chief of Sarcasm was one, Steve Wilkenson. Steve, hailing from England was quite adept at mocking both friend and foe alike.

One year at Christmas time Steve sent the following card to his friends and relatives around the globe. We thought it was pretty hilarious, some others according to Steve did not share the humor.
The Tomb of Christ as described on the sign is in the village of Shingo (formerly Herai) in Aomori Prefecture. The locals (at least some of them) actually believe that Jesus brother Iskiri died on the cross and Jesus himself lived in Herai to the age of 106. For a great deal more information on Herai and its heretical heritage click on the photo above.

A number of years later Steve died in a sky diving accident in Oregon. Apparently he packed his own chute and it failed to open at all. I learned of this accident while watching the evening news on television. To add more woe to this tale, the Lady Wife and I while visiting Japan stayed a few days with Steve's widow, Erico. Within a year of our visit Erico had sucumbed to cancer and left their son an orphan at boarding school in Tokyo.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Best Marmot

The is the best video I have ever seen of a Marmot Eating a Biscuit. I have never seen a marmot eat a biscuit. One time however a Marmot shat on my sleeping bag. My cat sits like this, what a great posture.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Do Not Mistake this for Science


My lovely niece spotted this one whilst surfing the interweb. Apparently the author of this web site has confused weight lifting, deer hunting, and man toys with the science of paleontology. You will enjoy his graffic depiction of the Treeosaurus. The real "gold" however lies in the text of his website where he "explains" his theories about T-Rex and reverse tree humping.

http://treeosaur.com/

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Single Worst Bank Ever!

I'm talking about personal consumer banking here not corporate or investment "banking". If you guessed WELLS FARGO then you must have also had the misfortune of doing business with these wankers. I believe that the stage coach is an apt symbol for a bank which displays 19th century business ethics, communication infrastructure and that great indifference to its customers which was characterized by the financial sector represented by the Wild West image of the stage coach.


Following is a brief summary of Wells Fargo's incompentence, indifference and perfidy.

1. WF purchased First Interstate Bank, eliminated international banking services, and started charging onerous fees for checking accounts. This was in about 1994. I dropped out and joined a credit union.

2. This year my wife's brother died and as the executrix of his will she informed the bank of his demise and had the address changed to ours so we could be sure to get all the statements etc. This was promptly followed by a deluge of direct marketing efforts congratulating the deceased brother John on his recent "move" and offering new and better banking services. When confronted with this insensitive and lame promotion the local bank manager did not have the decency to apologize but simply blamed it on the "marketing" division with whom he had no communication.

3. The Lady Wife and I were considering purchasing a plot of land. Apparently in a state of advanced delirium I called WF and inquired about applying for a second line of credit. I endured a brief application interview over the telephone with some douche bag in North Carolina. Two weeks later I received a phone call from a young lady named "Missy" in Arizona informing me that they would require two years of personal tax returns and pay stubs as part of the application process. This was followed by a demand for copies of my corporate tax return as well. Missy asked what percent of my company I personally owned. I replied that I owned 1/3 of the stock. Missy responded with "Yes, but what percent is that?" At this point I asked her to kindly cancel my application for a loan as it was not possible for me to contemplate doing business with a "banker" who could not make the leap from 1/3 to 33 %. At my subsequent meeting with the local bank "manager". I was informed that my application had been denied. I advised him that he could not deny my application as I had already canceled it The accompanying artist's rendering of Wells Fargo Banking Zombies is an appropriate comment on the quality of WF personnel.

4. My daughter had established a checking and savings account with WF when she was still a college student. She discovered to her dismay recently that WF had charged penalties for an inactive account draining all funds from the account and then proceeded to charge overdraft fees when further penalties were assessed. Upon her protest to the local bank "manager" she was refunded $1.50 after cancellation of outstanding penalties. So, they stole $45.00 from her account with no notice then returned $1.50.

Wells Fargo Bank is a stove piped organization set up to fleece consumers through obfuscation, usurious penalties and fees, and clumsy stupid marketing promotions. Their employees are poorly trained, and completely aloof to the needs of their customers. They deserve to fail...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Disappearing Car Door

I would invest in this even if it is British! Click on photo to see website for really cool invention:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blindness Pandemic Strikes China

The following video argues in favor of:
1. Driving the largest vehicle available
2. Installation of stop signs
3. Avoiding China...

Fishin...


Salmon, why do you torture me so? This spring season I have fished relentlessly on the Clackamas, Trask, Wilson and Sandy rivers. I have used spinners, lures, salmon eggs, sand shrimp, cured shrimp and more. No luck, zero, bupkis! This morning I arrived at work (office on Clackamas River) and realized that the sand shrimp in my bait bag were reaching the end of their shelf life. Knowing that placing these little jewels in the refer would result in severely negative consequences I decided with a great sense of largesse that I would walk down to the river and donate the excess bait to one of the good ol boys fishing the big hole. I gave the shrimp to Ike. He was too busy on his cell phone to say thank you and I can only hope that he would have done so if not for the exigencies of multi-tasking. Later on, while walking the dog downstream I ran into Chuck, who advised me that within 30 minutes of Ike receiving my gift that Ike caught a 15 lb bright shiny Chinook salmon. Aarghh !*?!!# A lesser man would give up...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

New Product Concept

You just have to love the pragmatic Chinese approach to the daily challenges of life in the city.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sapporo Beer

My friend Hiromi Yoshida put this new ad from Dentsu up on facebook.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Perp Apprehended, Not Killed

Kudos to the Gladstone Police. Yesterday they apprehended the "Top Hat" carjacking suspect on the Clackamas River (directly behind our office). I unfortunately, did not get to witness this incident as I was out of the office at the time. The police had every chance to shoot and kill this idiot when he pulled up his shirt revealing a plastic gun stuck in his pants. They are to be commended for simply tasing and capturing him. I am afraid that if this happened in Portland our Perp would be on a slab at the morgue at this time. Thanks to KOIN Channel 6 for capturing the following video. I can tell you that our office staff were quite entertained by the entire episode!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

God I Love Science!

Actually it is the juxtapostion of science, industry and marketing that create the best tecno-babble herewith a great example:

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Babies

Following video trailer is from upcoming film "Babies". Namibia, Mongolia, Tokyo and San Francisco. Babies have a lot in common, but I am not so sure about the parents. At the very least this will be terminally cute.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I Am Worried About NASA

The shuttle is up there again, but apparently for the last time. I haven't heard any news about what the next big space thing is going to be. I grew up with a life time of next big things from NASA. The following video is disturbing:


NASA Scientists Plan To Approach Girl By 2018

Monday, February 8, 2010

Transportation Cycle

Over time with the development of energy and infrastructure resources we have created larger and more powerful vehicles to move products from farm and factory to market. Recently in cities such as Portland and Amsterdam young progressives have been reverting to human power to move cargo. I see a possible trend here which you may find a bit circular. Recently, local bike stores have been offering an ever wider array of bicycles designed to carry cargo, as well as an assortment of bicycle trailers. Following is what I see as a natural sequence of development (or regression, depending on your point of view).







Obviously no captions required.







Sunday, February 7, 2010

Exotic Species

My dog, Domino, has a crazed blood lust for the local squirrels. Turns out he may be an inadvertant environmentalist. The squirrels native to Portland are the big beautiful silver gray variety with the big fluffy tails. The have been completely eliminated in the city by little feisty brown buggers from someplace in the Mid-West. In honor of a Miss Leslie Zucor of Reed College I would like to share with you the following video demonstrating the art of Squirrel Launching.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Run For the Roses!


Apparently getting to the Rose Bowl wasn't good enough for the stars of the University of Oregon football team. Jeremiah Masoli (quarterback) and Garrett Embry (wide receiver) were caught red handed looting computers and other electronics from the SAE frat house on campus ( see sordid details at: oregonlive.com). The police were "uncomfortable" releasing names just yet but the young man who caught them knew them, spoke to them and chased them down. Is this what we can expect from the $20M invested in the new Student Athlete Academic Center built for the pampered jocks? We should all be howling with indignation. Maybe Phil Knight will get a little indigestion from this one...

Sunday, January 17, 2010

I Thought Tatoos were Permanent

I have always had this image of tatoo afficianados as being either big tough guys or a least rangy camel smoking hipsters. With the exception of the full body tatoo this kid looks like a Republican Congressional Page. Am I suffering from cognitive dissonance or is this a clever fake?

Just when I thought I had plumbed the depth of stupid tatoos along comes this young man.

How long do you thing it might be before she dumps him? I usually think it might take a matter of months or even years before people regret their permanent tatoo decisions. I would think the psychological life span of this one might at best be measured in days or weeks.

Turnagain Sound

Last week I travelled on business to Anchorage AK. I had the good fortune of taking a short drive south to Portage lake which took us along Turnagain Sound. We caught the sunset and tide going out on our way back to Anchorage. It was bloody cold but quite beautiful...





video

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Here We Go Again...


The "Followers of Christ". Once again in court for allowing a child to die. First it was Carl and Raylene Worthington accused of allowing their 15 month old daughter to die of pneumonia. Carl was convicted and Raylene got off scott free. Now it's Jeff and Marci Beagley parents of Raylene, who are in court accused of letting their son, Neil, die from a recurring urinary tract infection. The hapless Neil had been raised in complete isolation, never attending school, and never having seen a doctor. Young Neil had never known anyone outside of the church and family. He died in agony at age 16 probably feeling he had somehow offended "God". The parents defense is based in the idea that at age 16 Neil was responsible to make his own decision about whether to see a doctor or not. Does this make you sick or what? I hope the Oregon City court puts these folks in jail where they belong. Followers of Christ? I don't think so...

http://www.oregonlive.com/clackamascounty/index.ssf/2009/12/clackamas_hearings_set_stage_f.html

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

U of O Taj Majal

In the Oregonian this morning I read with dismay about the opulent new Academic Center for Athletes which is now complete at University of Oregon. I note with some nostaligia that the new center will accomodate some 130 tutors who will be employed to study for the jocks. I remember as a freshman at U of O in 1967 working as a jock tutor myself. I wrote papers and took tests for these morons. They could not graduate without someone covering for them. I am sure there are many exceptions to this rule but they are exceptions none the less.

At right behold the appalling bad taste exemplified by the student lounge complete with Italian leather lounge chairs. I particularly like the rug apparently designed to assist the athlete scholars in learning the alphabet.
The Oregonian also recently noted that Phil had placed 1.5 Billion dollars of Nike stock in a trust fund. He can afford to do pretty much anything he wants. How about scholarships for real students?
I actually used to know John Jacqua and cannot believe he would have signed off on this.
Please click on link below for Oregonian article...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Our Mayor at Play

Portland is know for being "weird". Our mayor Sam Adams goes by the nickname of Mayor Creepy. City Commissioner Randy Leonard is called Fireman Randy. Storm Large is as close as Portland can come to Hollywood skank...


Friday, January 1, 2010

Avatar?


I confess I was kind of enthused about seeing this opus. My friend Jim went to see it and warned me that the 3D FX brought on nausea. I also talked to my son's friend Danny and he warned that the plot could also induce nausea. An internet review described the story as " ... a largely humorless movie that plays like the sensitive white man goes native saga, Dances with Wolves in outer space."


I could probably avert my eyes when the 3D starts to overwhelm my inner ear but I am defenseless against the adolescent plot development. I have never enjoyed puking so I guess I will have to give this one a miss.