Saturday, March 22, 2008

Map My Run Image

About half of my friends and relatives use MacOS and the browser that comes with it, Safari, does not show the mapmyrun images. So I thought while I am demoing Snagit, I might as well show what these images look like.

GeoID went crazy again...

This has happened before, not to this extent though. I normally might get 2-3 hits per day but sometimes, for reasons I don't understand yet, I get a huge deluge of hits. Just in case one might think that it is just GeoID not working right, I don't think that is the case: The site counter jumps too.

Here is another odd thing: I see a hit from location zero longitude and zero latitude. So, on the equator and due South of London. It is odd, because there doesn't seem to be any land there.

An Easter Puppy

I didn't realize this until reading some of the obituaries for WFB that he was a big lover of the Cavalier King Charles. It is pure coincidence but still fitting that our first dog should be this breed.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Helpful Cooking Hint...

Just in case you too face this exact (really common) problem:

My wife and I both want to have a hamburger tonight. There is only one hamburger bun left.

But we do have a fresh loaf of bread...

And they usually have two of these kind of pieces...

Presto! With the help of a large biscuit cutter.

Dinner accomplished!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

If you have the right theory, all the facts make sense...

NPR has a story from yesterday which is pretty interesting: The Mystery of Global Warming's Missing Heat

by Richard Harris

3000 robots have been taking the Ocean's temperature the last 4-5 years and haven't seen any warming. At the same time, sea levels have risen 1/2 inch.

This is naturally very confusing: If the Earth is warming, then why isn't it actually warming? If it is not warming then why the increase in sea-level? When you warm-up water it expands, but since the water isn't warmer the expansion couldn't have been from that.

The answer is cosmic rays. Okay, I don't wear a tinfoil hat so I will explain further. When the sun is more active, as judged by sunspots, it produces a strong magnetic field. This field reduces the amount of cosmic rays which hit our atmosphere. Oh, yes. Cosmic rays seed clouds. This isn't my brilliant theory by the way.

The Chilling Stars: The New Theory of Climate Change (Paperback) by Henrik Svensmark

Clouds have multiple effects. They insulate at night, holding in warmth. But in the daytime they reflect more sunlight away than insulate--so the net effect is thought to be that clouds cool. There is one region of the earth where clouds only warm; the arctic. The reason is that places with permanent snow cover already reflect the sun very efficiently, so clouds there are only insulating. If the sun was fairly inactive (as it is and has been the last couple of years) one might expect global cooling and some melt-off of arctic ice. We haven't seen the cooling, but we also haven't seen carbon dioxide based heating either--possibly they are canceling each other out.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

When Will The Winter End?

Yesterday was very nice; sunny, warm and pleasant. No sprouts, flowers or signs of Spring--like they have in other, more fortunate places. Still a pretty good day. My wife & I both worked from home, so we had a brisk walk together. I was looking forward to a long run today, my day off. But look at this gray drizzle!

Gray, dim & dismal are the watchwords for today. A bad day for a long run is a good day to cook--perhaps I will make a cauldron of spaghetti sauce...after a short run.

Update: 9.5 miles run 77:40 and sauce made. Going to relax for a bit.

Another Giant Falls...

Arthur C. Clarke: RIP

I got into scifi when I was maybe 12 or 13. At that age, paperbacks were pretty much the only option. In fact the first book I ever purchased at a store is in this picture: The Wind From The Sun. Back in 1975 or so, I still remember how 95 Cents + Tax stung.

It is surprising, now that I think about it, that I still have these cheap things 30 years after buying them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

So, What's Up With Obama's Church?

All the news, at least on the internet tubes, has been about Senator Obama's church. I won't go into lots of details about this, since I am sure anyone who is interested can find out all they want on their own. I will just sum-up the tenor of it by saying that the motto of his church might as well be, "Never trust whitey".

What I got to wondering was; did Senator Obama have a choice? That is, are all the African-American churches on the South side of Chicago like that? I have no idea, I kind of hope not. What do you mean by, "kind of"? Well, in general terms, I wish none of them were like that. But on the other hand, if some were not like that, then I am pretty sad that Obama didn't choose a different church. I should note here that the Trinity United Church of Christ is very popular--something like 8,000 members.

I will also note here that I do not personally think that Senator Obama does himself hate or distrust whites, unlike say Jackson, Sharpton or Obama's own pastor.

Monday, March 17, 2008

We're All Irish Today!

St. Patrick's Day is a pretty big deal in lots of places and this is especially true in the Boston area. I have a (possible) shred of Irish in me, from my Mom's side--Dad 100% Italian; so our kids have a little Irish in them.

My wife made everything pictured and I can assure you, she doesn't have a drop of Irish blood, but today she is all-Irish and everything delicious!

Too late to enlist?

A friend had asked me how old one can be and still join the military. He probably asked me because I had been in the Marine Corps. The thing is, I had no idea what the answer was--I joined when I was 18.

Well, I looked it up: You can be up to 42 to enlist and up to 35 to take a commission. The younger age for officers is because they want you to be able to put in 20 years and you have to retire at 55.


If I was still single and had never served before (and was under 42!) I would consider signing up. I bet there would be a novel in it. In researching this, I came across the story of Kristi Jo Newland. A very inspiring woman and a reminder of why we are a great country: We have people like that and lots of them!

Leadership Secrets of Attila the Hun

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Running observations

I was going to bag running for the weekend since I have the beginnings of a head-cold. I rested all day Saturday but still felt enervated all day. So today I figured that if I am going to feel like crap all day, a run won't make me feel worse and might do some good.

A lot of the snow, most really, has melted so I decided to run on trails. The trails were not really good for anyone: There were long stretches of snow and ice which would be good for cc skiing, but then this would be followed by long stretches of mud and dirt.

There is a spot that I always pass by; it has several lengths of sawed white birch logs laying on the ground. I have seen them before, I know that the are there. Whenever I first see them I wonder, for a split-second, why there are PVC pipes on the ground.

I listen to music as I run. The iPod shuffle is so small, you can't feel the weight of it. I listen to classical rock and classical music and I have it pick the tunes randomly. So I might get the Red Hot Chili Peppers--which makes me feel like running aggressively, followed by Mozart's "Requiem"--which (sublimely) makes me think of my mortality, then some Cake--which reminds me of how much I like horns in rock music, then Beethoven's 6th--which reassures me that Spring will eventually show herself...