Friday, March 30, 2007

Those who fail to heed history... Guantanamo Bay Detention facilities in the image of the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Pictures from Smith

I got the pictures from Dev and my climbing trip last weekend posted to my Picasa albums. They aren't labeled or organized yet. The weather proved phenomenal for climbing. And Dev blasted her way up a few routes, too. She broke through the 5.7 barrier this weekend; not shabby for her second time ever on real outside rock.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Two for the price of one

So I go grab my bike at lunch to patch the hole in my back tire. I start wheeling my bike into the shop and notice a little extra squish on the front end. Oh yes, the slow leak in my front tube turned into a fast leak. Yay. I got twice the fun of tube patching at lunch.

Perfect Storm

I had to pay off my karmic debt for the phenomenal weekend somehow I guess (more on the weekend in a post tonight). But this morning went perfectly squirrelly in just about any way that it could, starting last night...

-a 5 mile ride in steady cold rain on bad roads to a 3 hour lecture

-no dinner because I forgot to pack one and got home too late to eat a good meal

-up at 5:30 am to walk the dogs solo (though not in rain thankfully)

-had to inflate the front tire of the bike because I haven't had time to find the slow leak that bleeds off all but 20 pounds of pressure every night

-started riding to work and got 3 miles from home before I realized that I forgot the cash I need to buy some gear for my mountaineering/climbing class

-got just over halfway to work when my rear tire went flat. From a piece of glass. In the brand new tire and tube I bought last week because the previous tire was shredded from 6 months of steady commuting. Not even a week from my new tire. Sigh.

-walked the remaining 3 miles to work because I had no cash for the light rail. And because I would spend just as long walking as I did patching the tube and riding the rest of the way to work. And Dev had a client meeting so there was no automotive rescue available.

And then I got to work and had coffee. And clear skies. What a morning. It could have been a Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Climb and Camp

We're going to Smith Rock this weekend. A little short overnight trip with our friend Sue and her dog Moto and maybe a couple of other folks. Leave at the crack of dawn tomorrow and stay overnight. Do some climbing. Maybe a short hike. Some outdoor, high desert air. First camping trip of the year. I'm so ready.

Stroke, stroke

Last night was the first time that I've swum a significant amount of distance under my own power and maintaining a breathing rhythm.

I know that swimming is second nature for most people, but not me. I sink like a stone. Literally. I stop moving and I start to drift down, down, down. I even surprised Dev with my lack of buoyancy; she tried to teach me to swim one time and didn't believe that I would sink. I stopped moving and shot straight to the bottom of the pool. Dev said in all her years of teaching swimming that she's never seen anything like it.

To remedy my lack of aquatic prowess, I signed up for an adult beginner swim class through the Portland Parks and Recreation department. 10 classes with very patient instructors. After 10 lessons I still didn't know how to swim. I did learn to breath and to kick though. Enough basics so that I could start practicing on my own. And Practice I have. Twice a week I spend half an hour in the water (which has always felt like a foreign and alien land to me) and practice my technique. Last week I "swam" 25 yards for the first time; I wasn't using a steady arm stroke, just one stroke every time I breathed. Then this week I started learning the crawl. And last night I made 15 lengths under my own steam.

So maybe I won't remain quite as terrestrial as I have been in the past.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Libbygate: any more steps?

Dave Lindorff has a great piece about why we need to indict and jail the President and Vice President.

Not impeach.

Not debate.

We ought to frog-march their morally corrupt asses to the deepest, dankest hole in Guantanamo bay as enemies of the state and leave them there until Iraq is a real nation again. And until America believes in the working man again.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Privatization as (un)panacea

More on the Walter Reed Medical Center scandal here.

Quote of note:
They also found that more than 300 federal
employees providing facilities management
services at Walter Reed had drooped to fewer than
60 by Feb. 3, 2007, the day before IAP took over
facilities management. IAP replaced the remaining
60 employees with only 50 private workers.

Oh the power of the private sector! They can hire 50 people to do the job of 300, and do it better! (for the sarcasm impaired, that was sarcasm).

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The more things change

I started reading "It Can't Happen Here" last night. Ten pages in and it feels like the book could have been written yesterday. But Sinclair Lewis wrote is on the eve of World War II. I started reading the book because of a quote that's been making the rounds in progressive circles: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." I like the style he writes in.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


Good commentary here on Coulter recent rancid remarks and what it signifies for (or rather about) "modern conservatives" in America.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

New stuff in the sidebar

I'm trying out Google's new Google Reader. It works really well at grabbing RSS feeds and organizing them. And it gives me a new way to share info that I stumble across daily. I've started posting stories that interest me, that support some things that I write, that express some interesting thoughts, and so on over in the sidebar.

Let me know it it's distracting and worthless or enjoyable....