Wednesday, June 28, 2006

A dry Germany?

Imagine a Deutschland where not a single pint of beer exists. Hard to imagine? What if the the English pay a visit? It seems the Germans can't brew it fast enough too keep up with the visiting British soccer fan's thirst. From the UK Mirror (via Drudge):
Breweries warned beer could run out before the final because of huge demand from our supporters. In Nuremberg, organisers revealed 70,000 England fans who flooded the city drank 1.2MILLION pints of beer - an average of 17 pints each.

Astonished bar keeper Herrmann Murr said: "Never have I seen so many drink so much in such little time."
That could even be funny if it weren't so freaky. (psst...I did laugh)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Cali pictures

It's 80 degrees at 7:30 p.m. I'm doing my Saturday night parking lot routine again (mainly so I don't freeze inside Woods as I typically do). What better time to finally post some pictures from my trip to Salinas two weeks ago.

I didn't get any on any other days, so all these are from Carmel the day before I flew home.

Timothy eyeing the briny deep at his feet.

Mary on the way down.

The Robbins, minus Mary

No...I'm not falling here

Nor here...

Just enjoying the view

Alicia and Mary dancing in the surf

Facing down the tide...


Don't ask me how...

Old men Michael and Mark


that's all for now

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Rather sad

Sorry I don't have a photo credit for this--it came via email.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Quotes in passing

"The entire country may disagree with me, but I don't understand the necessity for patriotism. Why do you have to be a patriot? About what? This land is our land? Why? You can like where you live and like your life, but as for loving the whole country… I don't see why people care about patriotism."
-Natalie Maines (Dixie Chicks) to the British press a couple days ago.

"They talk about wanting a break with the past; look at the Murrow film. I don't want to break with that past."
-Dan Rather on his outdatedness, job loss, and nostalgic view of the good ol' McCarthy days.

"A new poll has Bush's approval numbers up sharply to a still shaky 40%. Mostly due to schizophrenic republicans getting back behind him - for the moment. Meanwhile confidence in the press remains abysmally low. Probably because they are a cynical lot who spend all their energy trying to lose the Iraq war and chasing Karl Rove, and other short-lived scandals. The tide is turning just in time for the run to November, and the press and the Left are not happy."
-A very concise on the national state of affairs.

“We were a little surprised. I know it’s hard to get jurors, but this is really getting down there. They’re really getting desperate to get people.”
-Dawn Schauer; mother of 5-year-old Carson Schauer of Pierce County after he was summoned for jury duty.

"My own highly scientific theory is that God looks after fools, drunkards and the United States of America. What other explanation can there be?"
-Paul Greenberg

Friday, June 16, 2006

Chapman on the Pence deal

There's a big battle brewing for Congressman Mike Pence--and it may mean some loss of standing among his usual constituency. His immigration reform bill is labeled accusingly (but eagerly by Pence) as the "compromise bill." the thinking (or lack thereof) on the hardcore protectionist side (I think that matches since Pat Buchanan is one of them) is that compromise is a bad word, therefore if anyone tries it, goodness knows our country will be destroyed in fire and water or something.

Tim Chapman takes Pence’ side (as I do) in a column from yesterday with the general assessment that people on both sides need to tone down the temperature and realize that Pence' bill could be the REAL salvation since nothing is likely to get past both the House and Senate without significant compromise on both sides.
The Senate, fresh off passing the McCain-Kennedy amnesty plan, appears adamant that its position on a guest worker program containing some sort of amnesty must survive. Meanwhile, the hard-core crowd in the House led by Colorado Republican Tom Tancredo is providing a much more vigorous critique of the Pence plan, concluding that it is weak on border security and tantamount to amnesty, even though the Pence plan has won support from conservatives including Dick Armey and Newt Gingrich.
This issue is scary because many of the protectionists are so hotheaded that they could end the relative unity the GOP has enjoyed for the last decade.

Give Chapman a read even if it bores you. World Magazine also did a feature on the Pence proposal a while ago (up till June 21)--he needs all the support he can get.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Confirmed by the numbers

There was this funny fact that got thrown at me a while ago...I decided to figure out if it was true. It is:

Canada: total population = 32,422,919

California: total population = 35,484,453

Is THAT why the real estate is so expensive here!?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Three tries, I'm out

The official story from the Arizona border is that the troops working there have acted as a significant deterrent--encouraging news since the presence seems to be so minimal and they aren't even allowed to detain anyone (just think of what could be!). This article (via Drudge) tells the story against the usual backdrop of the pitiful immigrant who just needs to find a good job.

I was amused by a statement from the token illegal they interviewed: "If we don't make it in three tries, then we'll go back home."

Oh? Light at the end of the tunnel! You mean to tell me there are actually limits to what you will do to "survive?" I don't suppose you would stoop to try the unthinkable--e.g., attempt to get come here legally.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hobbes for President (GOP?) hmmm

Sorry...I'm not gone yet...I'm in the airport yes, but no, I'm not gone. And courtesy of AT&T, I'm now subjected to the day's news via my good buddy Toby—the black box.

I read something from someone I've never noticed before on The title caught my eye. He's got a good clear writing style if I ask me. Nathanael Blake's piece is titled "Rousseau, Hobbes, and Haditha." Knowing me, I hope you understand why this title would catch my attention.

I like the way Blake forms his arguments--his basic premise is that conservatives in general have a better understanding of fallen human nature, and are more inclined to expect atrocities and deal with them without getting over the top about it. This, versus the liberal outlook that just can't understand how an atrocity, once committed, could have been the fault of the individual perpetrator.

Yes and no.

Yes, because I am a conservative who has a strong belief that man is fallen--dead in our trespasses and sins, with no hope except in Christ.

No, because I don't think I speak for every "Reagan conservative," since he (the Gipper) tended to mix a lot of superfluous optimism into his brand of Christianity. American's like to hear that they are good people--so why would a politician say otherwise?

One more problem I have with his explanation: he claims that conservatives take after Hobbes’ view of human nature, and liberals after Rousseau. Correct on Rousseau. He is decidedly wrong with regard to Hobbes though.

Everyone remembers Hobbes’ well-known assessment that life is "nasty, brutish and short," that man is in a perpetual state of war and fear, for which there is no remedy except to create the "Leviathan," or totalitarian state if you will--thereby solving all of man's fears and need for "war of all against all."

Blake is wrong about Hobbes, whom I strongly believe represented a relatively optimistic view of humanity. I believe it takes a great amount of faith in human nature for someone to imagine that man's destiny and well-being can be best safeguarded by entrusting it to one man or one unified entity. Why do we have such a decided division of power here in the US? Because our founder understood power—so did John Locke, a man in strong disagreement with Hobbes and a great influence on the founders.

Yes, I'm a big fan of Lord Acton's blunt assessment: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." Hobbes plainly disagreed—he doesn't represent me—nor, I hope, the state of American conservatism in general.

Taking wing

This evening I'm taking my leave of my home so I can visit Joel and Rachel in Salinas. I think it's the first time I've traveled for the sake of traveling. It'll be nice to kick back before going back to work full time a week from Monday.

Catch ya on the flip side

Flattering...but I don't know

Your Blogging Type is Kind and Harmonious

You're an approachable blogger who tends to have many online friends.
People new to your blogging circle know they can count on you for support.
You tend to mediate fighting and drama. You set a cooperative tone.
You have a great eye for design - and your blog tends to be the best looking on the block!

Friday, June 09, 2006

That was fast

This was supposed to publish yesterday about noon. Blogger went down though...

Strange I should see so many old friends on the day I’m turning in my last assignment at Western. It brings back so many old memories. At the same time…WHERE DID THE TIME GO?!

First two years took way longer than this it seems. Perhaps it will seem like a longer period in retrospect when I’ve had enough time in-between Western and myself.

However, truth be told, I haven’t been to bed since yesterday morning. I haven’t been home since 11 p.m. last night. Work now…then the weekend…and summer…and more work.

Who knows, maybe I’ll run into real life somewhere along the way! I’ll let you know if I happen to see him.

For what it’s worth, I heard this line just now on KMPS from Gary Allan’s latest song:
“Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride…”
Pretty tune. Insightful? Don’t know—guess I’ll find out someday.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The piebald finale

The blisters are finally starting to peel...I shouldn't complain though because our medicine cabinet has kept me relatively comfortable despite the frightful mottled look. I almost imagine myself as Ransom in the C.S. Lewis' Space Trilogy...entering Paralandra after having traveled with one side of his sleeping body exposed to the sun and the other still white. What did the green lady call him? Piebald?
Excerpt from an email I recently wrote.

Ah, there I go again: messing around with my face while I'm trying to think. Any other time in my life (excepting some scenario I haven't imagined) it wouldn't be a problem to put my hands to my face while thinking alone, creature of habit that I am. However, this is one time my face will not take more abuse--for abused it I have.

It all began on Friday evening. Yes, in fact, I was spending an hour or so of my precious time, optimizing and posting those Twisp pictures two posts down. Kevin rang me up and asked me if I would participate in a hike he was planning (again) to Artist's Point the next day. I knew I should study. I knew finals were right after the weekend. Here I was, not even done posting the aftermath of the previous hiking success and I was now planning to take on another one. I said I was down with the idea. I really wanted to make it up there at least once before the snow was all gone. Accordingly, a party of five hikers made their merry way to the top of Artist's Point the very next day. Our supply of sunscreen stranded back at the car, I resigned myself to the inevitable as the sun came out in full force upon the perpetually brilliant snow.

It was a great hike--we milked it for all it was worth. We made every hill into a slide, every mountain into a ski run. Our backsides took all the beating as we raced several different slopes on our way down. I'll have some pictures pending positive contact with several of the Thompson cameras. They should be good.

Home again, and the burn came on, along with the typical raccoon stripe across the eyes where the sunglasses once guarded against deadly snow blindness. You should know that Kevin, although generally more exposed throughout the day, didn’t suffer the half of my final skin hue.

The continuing adventures…

Sunday evening: The brake pedal on my car goes to the floor. A little pressure to be sure, but not enough to stand up to the rigors of my typical commute the next morning. With all the needed fluid present, it seems the master cylinder is ready for the next life. As it stands now, the needed part is now finally purchased and my cousin Josh will install it tomorrow evening, but...since then, it's been a wonderful life.

Monday morning: I go over my options for getting to Western for my one final that day. With a certain amount of study still required before taking that exam, I finally settled on the bus. It's been two years since I took the bus. It wasn't too bad. They seem to be a little more efficient than they used to be. The down side? A commute that includes three buses, two transfers, and 1 and a quarter hour of travel one way. What better time to look like a transient—on the bus with a face that smacks of over-exposure.


Anyway, I’m sitting in Starbucks, Anna having kindly let me use her car today to get to work. Starbucks here in Sehome square is open 24 hours on finals weeks at Western. Hopefully that means I’ll get something accomplished when I finally stop writing this account…

So totally awesome

This just in from the UK: we are finally going to fly like we first imagined. So strap on those wings and take to the sky!


The outfit is cool regardless of the final outcome--which seems to have been successful...although only by the developing company's account. Check out the story here. It's actually not intended for anything but a long "glide" into enemy territory at this point, with possible powered version still in development (i.e. small turbojets fitted to the wings).

Friday, June 02, 2006

Farther afield: nameless mines and lost trails

Monday, Memorial Day, in the early morning light, two cars made their way from Burlington to Winthrop/Twisp area for a hike in the Okanogan. We didn't find a nice trail to follow. We didn't even start at a trail-head. Instead, our starting point was a campground. Our trail was the memory of our guides--plus the remains of a mining road. Our motivation was the bright sun in a gloriously clear sky...and a keen sense of adventure, of course.

Thus the merry bunch of us, Jackie, Bryan, Shawnee, Beka, Anna and I, had the time of our lives as we crawled through the shale, snow, streams and mines. Here are the Memorial Day photos. They tell at least some of the story if you can put up with the poor quality.

What passes for a trailhead.

Feeling small...

The ladies present: Jackie, Shawnee, Beka and Anna.

Reaching the first mine.

" grampa had one of these..."

Let's hunt some orc...

Deepest point.

No more trail or packs from here on up.

Resting up after Shawnee and Beka's near-death experience.

The "trail" we have trod...

Having reached our goal...Shawnee walks in (2-3 feet of water).

...and Bryan follows (braving the frigidity)...

...and so, they both wade off into the darkness...

...and we wait.

"I wonder what would happen if Bryan's shoes disappeared while he was gone."

He's moving fast...that's why it's blury I'm sure.

State-of-the-art facilities.

My thoughtful spot...with a view.

Winthrop: looking for dinner.

A cat...that's more like a dog.

It doesn't come in pints...!

Let's blow this joint...

What's Beka staring at?

Oh...that. Washington Pass, North Cascade highway--our road home.