Just Another Blog
Sunday, August 28, 2005
Over Blown

You know how I like to cheer for destruction - as long as it comes from the weather and not the Muslims. Fark had this link to the Weather Service Warning for Sin City South:
A most powerful hurricane with unprecedented strength...rivaling the intensity of hurricane camille of 1969.

Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks...perhaps longer. At least one half of well constructed homes will have roof and wall failure. All gabled roofs will fail...leaving those homes severely damaged or destroyed.

The majority of industrial buildings will become non functional. Partial to complete wall and roof failure is expected. All wood framed low rising apartment buildings will be destroyed. Concrete block low rise apartments will sustain major damage...including some wall and roof failure.

High rise office and apartment buildings will sway dangerously...a few to the point of total collapse. All windows will blow out.

Airborne debris will be widespread...and may include heavy items such as household appliances and even light vehicles. Sport utility vehicles and light trucks will be moved. The blown debris will create additional destruction. Persons...pets...and livestock exposed to the winds will face certain death if struck.

Power outages will last for weeks...as most power poles will be down and transformers destroyed. Water shortages will make human suffering incredible by modern standards.

The vast majority of native trees will be snapped or uprooted. Only the heartiest will remain standing...but be totally defoliated. Few crops will remain. Livestock left exposed to the winds will be killed.

An inland hurricane wind warning is issued when sustained winds near hurricane force...or frequent gusts at or above hurricane force...are certain within the next 12 to 24 hours.

Once tropical storm and hurricane force winds onset...do not venture outside!
Certain death... Will fail... Incredible human suffering...I have a feeling they are exaggerating by quite a bit. I guess we'll see soon enough. The original was written in screaming all-caps, but I just couldn't take the hysteria.


Graeme had pointed out to me that we'll get to watch opening day for the NFL from a sportsbook somewhere in Reno. I haven't really been paying that much attention to the offseason and preseason build up, but I decided to watch the Broncos game last night. Apparently preseason game three is the only one where the starters actually do much or try very hard. Both teams had their first string in for the first half plus a drive or two in the second.

I must say I was very impressed by what I saw from the Broncos. I turned the game on just in time for Indy's first two scores and was just appalled by how easyily they drove down the field. By the end of the game though I realized that that was more due to Manning's skills than our defense's lack thereof. He's so good that he will regularly make any pro bowl cast of characters that you can line up against him look bad. You need 12 if not 13 people to contain that offense. And all in all, our D came away looking real good. Real good.

The offense looked good too. You never know what you'll get from Plummer, but with our running game and Putzier looking strong, I think the offense will be alright. It looks like Lelie might finally be ready to play at the level that everyone has been hoping over the last couple of years. Tall, fast, runs precise routes - looking good.

I was especially impressed with our punting. Glad to see that we finally have someone that can kick the ball farther than me. And to see him kick the kickoff to the end line even after the penalty for offsides, was somewhat reassuring. Elam is getting iffier as the years go by, but at least we have a good guy to really but some leg behind the ball now.

I am looking forward to watching the game in two weeks after the morning balloon race.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I have to say, they couldn't have picked a better time to have a sale on GPS units. It made it easy to convince myself to step up a level. I've been reading outdoors books and the importance of map skills and was getting a little freaked out because I can barely fold a map much less accurately read and interpret a USGS topographical map. I know you can't only depend on the GPS, but it will make for a good backup until my map reading skills can be improved. The important thing for me is to be able to get to a point where I started. I think a GPS is a valid tool for that use. Of course the other bells and whistles like the altimeter and map tracking both on an lateral and vertical distance covered will be fun too. Have I mentioned lately how psyched I am for Tahoe?

I also ordered a replacement Rescue Diver C-Card from Padi yesterday. I have no idea what ever happened to mine. I sure wish some of you guys were interested in scuba diving. I'd love to take a dive trip next. Of course, since that would entail a whole new round of gear buying, I should probably be thankful you're not. Lately, I can't get the idea of getting certified as a divemaster out of my head. Divemaster is the lowest level of professional diver, but it allows you to do things like work on a boat and lead other already certified divers on recreational outings. My past hesitancy had been based on the physical swimming requirements. I suspect that my fitness level has improved to the point where I could now meet those requirements with just a bit of hard practice. Maybe I need to take swim lessons from my sister. The dream continues on that I sell the house, buy a shack in Hawaii, and spend my days hiking and diving. Every passing day at work makes that dream more palatable. Who knows... First I need to get and learn how to use my new toys.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005
That Time of Year

Sniagrab is coming up and the first snow prediction story of the year is out. The weather here has been like you remember it: gorgeous sunny days with blue skies followed by afternoon storms and cool evenings. If last night is any indication of what the weather will be like nights in Tahoe, I'm going to have to think about bringing some long underwear for camp. I am looking forward to that quality of sleep that you only get when you're sleeping under the stars on a brisk night tightly huddled in a sleeping bag on the firm ground with eerie noises all around you.

Monday, August 22, 2005

How come I never hear the phrase, "There, but for the wrath of god, go I"?

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I walk about 20 miles a week commuting to work, but in advance of the big trip to Tahoe, I wanted to see how fit I was in terms of handling some steep climbs and working at altitude. I also wanted to walk with my big hip pack fully laden and get a feel for the shape of my hiking shoes.

With all of that in mind, I borrowed my brothers two dogs and headed to Berthoud Pass on Saturday. I planned it pretty well, and we hit the trail just after 9 AM. Took the straight up route across from the parking lot. This is definitely the toughest part of that hike. I was sweating inside of 5 minutes and had to rest periodically, but it certainly didn't bother me to excess.

I hiked further along the route than I had ever been, and I believe I made it to the peak of either Stanley or Vasquez, but I can't guarantee that because I a) don't know which is which and b) didn't have a map or ask anyone. The mountains were in very nice shape: greener than I have seen them in years past. There were still plenty of packets of snow around, and we spent a good part of our hike above the snow. When the wind blew, it was pretty chilly. I was tempted to put on my wind breaker at one point, but the trail turned and dipped a bit there, and I decided I would be fine.

The doggies were very good. I let Kepper off the leash for a large portion of the hike. She knows "stay close" and "stay on the trail" - well the second one she's still working on. Jib, who is blind, did great too. On the way back down I had to watch him a lot to guide him from obstacles. He came up with a new way of following me though where he pretty much kept his right fore-shoulder against my left calf and knee so that he could follow right in my same path. This is a previously unobserved behavior in Jib. I thought it was quite a clever coping strategy.

We were out for about 4 hours with roughly a 30 minute break. I'm guessing that we did somewhere around 8 miles. I am told that the dogs didn't move once they got home last night, and both spent all day today in bed or on the couch. I, on the other hand, came home yesterday, took a nap, and then walked down to the bars. Since I didn't get too wasted, I walked home too. I'm definitely feeling it in my butt today, but really, I am impressed with how good I feel. I think I'll be able to keep up in the Sierras.

I did learn that my hiking shoes were too far gone to expect to use them without blisters on a hiking trip. So I went out today and bought new trail shoes along with a stove and a few other toys to have for camping. Just need to buy some pots and decide on whether I'm going to throw down for a GPS - I almost certainly will as I can see doing this more and more now that I am a bit more fit and well equiped. Plus, I like toys.

Thursday, August 18, 2005
On Global Warming

Sure it's scary. But is it our fault? Is it inevitable?

Mrs. Clinton says, "I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the science."

I say, "Bullshit."

I say, "I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually listens to the soundbite."

I say, "I don't think there is any doubt left for anyone who actually looks at the spectacle."

Yes the glaciers are melting, and the mosquitos are getting scary big, and they are carrying infections, and biting birds, who are getting the flu ------- Wait, where was I going with this?


From science we know the past. And from science we know how a lot of cool and freaky stuff around us works.

But we can't see our place in time. And we don't know how everything works.

We know from geological evidence that the Earth warms and cools so dramatically that sometimes ice covers a large portion of the planet. And we know that sometimes the ice melts away and makes lakes and rivers that carve out our surroundings. But beyond a certain point, we don't have a real good feel for how much of that ice melts. It's not all of it, but how far down have things gone in the past? Or might it sometimes be all of it? Did it melt all the ice everywhere before? Did it melt all the Alaskan ice a million years ago and thus help shape the coast line of today? Is it worse now in Alaska than it was then? Are the deadly Chinese Walking Fish walking ever further north just to avoid a sunburn

Who knows?

The fact that the Earth is warming may or may not have anything to do with the industrial revolution. Is there more soot in the air now? Yes. Can we say that that is worse than a pre-scientific volcanic eruption? No. What about a lightning strike in a drought-ridden American West a miilion years ago that could burn millions upon millions of acres in a time long ago and leaving not enough of a path for modern science to sniff and detect? We know today that airline contrails and volcano eruptions and forest fire soot all have an effect on the weather. We can't tell the degree to which volcanos and fires may have made things far worst in the past than they are today.

We have nothing to make us think that we are in anything other than a not-yet-fully-understood cycle of gradual planetary heating and cooling. The Earth heated and cooled before humans. It will heat and cool after humans (please tell me you don't think the species will outlive the rock...). To think that it will stop heating and cooling during humans, just seems silly to me. If you disagree, well, you still shouldn't worry because I'm sure you'll be able to fix it when you get to heaven.

Monday, August 15, 2005
Something More than Angst --- Bacon

At least I do get vacation. Not three weeks in my first year like my neighbors and comrades at Lipper (Reuters) who get an English proper 3 weeks (+sick +holidays) in their first year. But, heck, if I make it to 10 years, I (might) get a sabatical (rules and regulations subject to change).

Anyway, my thoughts are really on vacation. Three weeks before Reno/Tahoe. Camera's on the way. Phone (I cracked) is on the way. GPS is in the cart - but so is a compass. I spent the weekend looking at stoves and pots and pans.

I'm making lists and sharpening knives - gonna find out who's naughty and ??knives??

Camping is largely about bourbon and steaks. And eggs and bacon in the AM. Especially the bacon.


I've been hesitant to post much about work ever since I mentioned to my boss' boss (general counsel) that I Google everyone I meet. Obviously, this opens me up to retribution, and I don't need my work life crossing with my life life - if such a thing even exists.

Is it pathetic or a compliment to the brilliance that it is so often so easy to frame your life in the patterns of Seinfeld?

Pathetic, I suspect. I might as well walk around quoting Star Trek - just a different species of geek.

Whatever. The title was work. I've decided I don't much care for it. But what can I do? You can't just not work. I proved that in 2004 [see Taxes below].

Dewey's opening a new place. Maybe I should work for him. At least I care about wine - well, getting smashed, anyways.

Best Wishes

"Well, I hope my friends all drink themselves to death, and I hope she curses me with her last breath..." - Driftin' Luke - Sour Mash: A Louisville Compilation [1999] - 09 - The Tempest.


Finally dispatched my 2004 tax returns today. The final possible day including an extension. 2004 was a bad year for me. I knew that instinctively, and I'm sure that added to my procrastination of actually filling out the return.

How bad you ask? My federal tax bill for the entire year was less than $70. I worked a bad job the 1st three months of the year, an ok job the last two months of the year, and spent the rest of the year spending money. I still haven't recovered, and my tax refund won't really help that much.

I guess I should simply rejoice and praise the lord that I have a good job now with a few days of vacation and a health plan that doesn't completely bankrupt a young, healthy male with no dependents or family or diseases who maintains a low risk lifestyle (at least as compared to you guys) but who still has to pay ridiculous premiums to compensate for the 40 y/o smokers who are married to smokers and who have 3 to 6 over-weight children with poor manners who make up the majority of the plan.

Thank you, Jesus (Melendez, Human Resources)

Things I Like to Remember

Is it better to have fucked and lost or to never have fucked?

That is my question.

Two Fingers

Drank two fingers (measured on the bottle) of whiskey tonight. I'd sure like to stick those same two fingers in you, baby.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Pulled. For the camera, but not the cell phone - yet.

Aaack!! Not shipping until 10/13? That won't work. Gotta figure this out...

Update: Ok, all fixed. I had to cancel the camera from Amazon, but Froogle found it for a few bucks cheaper. Had to pay shipping though, so it worked out to about $7 more. But I'll get it before my vacation. Still getting the memory and rechargeable batteries from Amazon. I am so psyched to (almost) have a camera again.

Friday, August 05, 2005
It Ain't a Mystery

Perhaps not surprisingly, I've had this song in my head all day.