Saturday, March 14, 2009

Sims Road / Sacramento River, S. of Dunsmuir, California

A bit too overcast to see Shasta looming over the Sacramento River

Shasta on the zoom

the major n/s rail line from LA to Seattle


Ruins of old CCC Camp (1934-1939)

Final adios to my Grandmother's old house on the way home...

From an evening walk in the Gap

Friday, March 13, 2009

The drive up to the Gap

Those of us who grew up in Grants Pass, refer to it as the Gap... those who live here are called Gappers... hehehe. I went for a walk and I am sitting in Dutch Bros Coffee and enjoying the vibe and coffee as I write...

The pics are kind of out of order... one here is the Xodo in the driveway just before I left yesterday. Then the naked house pics are of my Grandmother's old place that is being demolished for my Aunt & Uncle's new house... I am glad I caught it just before the bulldozers come... a lot of good memories, but it is too far goen to live in anymore... my uncle built it when hew as 16, its poetic that he is demolishing it to build himself another home...

The snowy peak for those uninitiated readers is Mt Shasta, all 14162 ft (4318m) of it in its spring time glory... always amazing.

A walk in Grants Pass

My Dad had some minor surgery, since he's 78, not much is minor, so took a few days off to go see him the stairs, and went for a walk to do some work via wifi at Dutch Brothers Coffee on 6th street...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

My Former Student Chérie

Just me heading off to work- no seriously. I was awarded thehonor of being Exxon-Mobil's first Iditarod Educator. It included an 11 mile ride at the Ceremonial Start of the race. So I overcame about a billion phobias and my shaking knees made my big bumcrawl into that sled. The musher made a nice "throne" for me to sit upon (note the royal wave). I had on so many layers of clothes and blankets and pillows that I looked like a gosh-darned 'tour-on'. Now what you missed is that as Musher number 68 we were the final team out of the chute . So I just had to sing down Fourth Avenue, cause as we know "IT AINT OVER 'TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS!"

Courtesy of Gizmodo

While you will never see a trillion dollars in person (nature's way of protecting your sanity amidst the bailout), computers can do the job without breaking a sweat—or worrying about retirement.
This particular rendering was made through Google SketchUp, Google's 3D modeling software. Measurements were taken of a $10,000 stack of $100 bills (just half an inch thick!) and pretty much multiplied from there using simple geometry. In that trillion dollar shot, each pallet holds $100 million...and the pallets are double stacked.

As for that red blob on the left? It's a human.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Open Letter to the Republican Traitors (From a Former Republican)

You Republicans are the arsonists who burned down our national home. You combined the failed ideologies of the Religious Right, so-called free market deregulation and the Neoconservative love of war to light a fire that has consumed America. Now you have the nerve to criticize the "architect" America just hired -- President Obama -- to rebuild from the ashes. You do nothing constructive, just try to hinder the one person willing and able to fix the mess you created.

From an email list by Jerry Becker:

"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself."(Mark Twain)

"Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please."(Mark Twain)

"If you give me four hours to chop down a tree, I will spend three sharpening my ax."(Abraham Lincoln) [Sent by Ken Jensen]

"Tests alone can't evaluate teachers."(Gerald Bracey, researcher/writer in education matters)

"Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you." (Winston Churchill) [From Paul Agranoff]

"Why not go out on a limb? Isn't that where the fruit is?"(Frank Scully, American writer)

"Judging mathematics by its pragmatic value is like judging symphonia by the weight of its score."(Alexander Bogomolny, creator of "Cut the Knot") [Sent by Sandy Lemberg]

"Correction does much, but encouragement does more."(Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe)

"Because we know America can't out compete the world tomorrow if our children are being out educated today, we are making the largest investment in education in our nation's history."(President Barack Obama) [from Education News Parents Can Use]

"If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer."(Dag Hammarskjold) [From Sanderson Smith, via Rex Boggs]

"The wildest colts make the best horses."(Plutarch) [From Sanderson Smith, via Rex Boggs]

"I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man."(George Washington, 1st U.S. president)"

Never fail to know that if you are doing all the talking, you are boring somebody."(Helen Gurley Brown) [From Sanderson Smith, via Rex Boggs]

"To succeed, you must first improve; to improve, you must first practice; to practice, you must first learn; to learn, you must first fail"

(Wesley Woo) [From Sanderson Smith, via Rex Boggs and Jonathan Lundell]"Fail again. Fail better."(Jonathan Lundell)

"It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade."(Charles Dickens, English novelist, from "Great Expectations)

"Inspiration never arrived when you were searching for it."(Lisa Alther, American novelist)

"Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which one has overcome while trying to succeed."(Booker T. Washington, American author, educator and black leader)

"Leadership involves finding a parade and getting in front of it."(John Naisbitt, American author and public speaker)

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."(Mahatma Gandhi) [From the signature of Rashida Foluke]

"My theory about birthdays (printed on cover of birthday card) ... age is relative (printed inside the card).

"(seen on a birthday card, with a photo of Albert Einstein on the cover)

"I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it." (W. C. Fields) [From Paul Agranoff]

"Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat." (Alex Levine) [From Paul Agranoff]

"My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying." (Rodney Dangerfield) [From Paul Agranoff]

"Money can't buy you happiness ... But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery." (Spike Milligan) [From Paul Agranoff]

"I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap." (Bob Hope) [From Paul Agranoff]*****************************************************

15% Of Americans Have "No Religion"

Courtesy of JMG:

According to a new survey, the number of Americans that say they have "no religion" has almost doubled over the last 20 years to 15%. While the survey doesn't identify these people as atheists, the unchurched in America now far outnumber all non-Christian sects combined.
So many Americans claim no religion at all (15%, up from 8% in 1990), that this category now outranks every other major U.S. religious group except Catholics and Baptists. In a nation that has long been mostly Christian, "the challenge to Christianity … does not come from other religions but from a rejection of all forms of organized religion," the report concludes.
45 million Americans want no part of any religion, yet many of us continue to suffer legislated persecution by the Christian majority. Land of the free, bah.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Marcos Breton: Prop. 8 debate lofty and painful

By Marcos
Published: Sunday, Mar. 8, 2009 - 2:00 am Page 1B

It comes down to your perspective.
Many of us were fascinated by the spectacle of California Supreme Court justices debating the polarizing issue of gay marriage.
It reinforced our belief in the power of ideas argued with respect for the rule of law.
The passionate sometime spew bile when discussing Proposition 8 – the voter-approved initiative that bans same-sex marriage in California. But it was different when the matter was argued before the state's highest court.
"I have been blessed (with being) in the presence of popes, presidents, governors and royalty. (This) left me with a similar feeling of awe," said Frank Schubert, the Sacramento consultant who ran the successful Yes on Prop. 8 campaign. "Here I am with a front row seat, 20 feet from seven people in whom we entrust vast power, counting on them to exercise that power with wisdom. This is the ultimate personification of the 'consent of the governed.' "
It was, depending on your perspective.
In Placerville, Charlotte Higgins avoided the historic proceedings completely, even though she is married to another woman.
Thursday's hearing was about Higgins' life. Consequently, she couldn't watch in detached awe. She decided it would be impossible to marvel at legal theories directly related to her expression of love.
Honestly. These are extraordinary times.
Hollywood perverts the idea of marriage with pimped-up odes to matrimony – "Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire?"
Popular culture celebrates looking for love in all the wrong places. At 60, Higgins has found love in one place, with one person, for 36 years.
Imagine her – an adolescent in 1960s, Southern Baptist Alabama – knowing she was different. And then imagine finding love with another woman, as Higgins did, in 1973, with Irene Goleski.
Then it was about hiding her love and once being spat upon in San Francisco. She experienced rejection in churches of faith because she showed faith in her love.
After careers in finance in San Francisco, Higgins and Goleski retired to Placerville, where instead of rejecting those who scorned them, they embraced them.
Higgins recalls swallowing thoughtless words, and vowing to win people over one at a time. "We changed some minds, others we didn't."
Charlotte and Irene were married on Nov. 1, just before Prop. 8 passed.
"It was so extraordinary and so emotional to experience something that has been denied to us," Higgins said.
So why skip the hearing?
"It's too painful," Higgins said. "The scab from the passage of Prop. 8 was starting to disappear. This was like pulling it off."
It's impossible for her to appreciate the debate – no matter how regal. She doesn't think the issue should be debated at all.
"If the judges don't overturn Prop. 8, we will continue. I'm not going to go away."

Toward a Better Day

FOCUS President Barack Obama: Toward a Better Day

President Barack Obama, in his weekly address to the nation Saturday, said: "Yesterday, we learned that the economy lost another 651,000 jobs in the month of February, which brings the total number of jobs lost in this recession to 4.4 million. The unemployment rate has now surpassed 8 percent, the highest rate in a quarter century. These aren't just statistics, but hardships experienced personally by millions of Americans who no longer know how they'll pay their bills, or make their mortgage, or raise their families."VIDEO

President Barack Obama: Toward a Better Day

President Barack Obama used his weekly address to detail his plans to fix our ailing economy, noting that reforming health care is necessary to ensure our long term fiscal health. While ending this crisis will not be quick or easy, the President's plans will take the swift, bold, and responsible actions needed for the United States to emerge stronger and more prosperous than before.

It takes your food seven seconds to get from your mouth to your stomach.
One human hair can support 3 kg (6.6 lb).
The average man's penis is three times the length of his thumb.
Human thighbones are stronger than concrete.
A woman's heart beats faster than a man's.
There are about one trillion bacteria on each of your feet.
Women blink twice as often as men.
The average person's skin weighs twice as much as the brain.
Your body uses 300 muscles to balance itself when you are standing still.
If saliva cannot dissolve something, you cannot taste it.
Women reading this will be finished now.

Men are still busy checking their thumbs.
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