Tuesday, December 2, 2008
On my vacation in Cancun, I finished reading Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg, that gives an economist's point of view to the solutions offered up for solving the "global warming crisis."
I also read all the way through George Orwell's 1984 while on vacation.
I am finding an interesting thread in my reading selections from Animal Farm, 1984, State of Fear, and some subjects discussed on the Thomas Jefferson Hour.
I picked up quite a few books on US History subjects such as the Federalist Papers, the Anti-Federalist Papers, and a collection of Thomas Paine's writings at our local B&N. These are next on my reading list and hopefully I can actually fit those in over the remainder of the holiday season.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I am sure many who found Michael to be inspirational or a bane will have many more eloquent things to say about this remarkable man. Having lost my brother suddenly and not too long ago, I can empathize with his family. I add my sympathies to the many that may be directed their way over the next year and as the anniversaries pass.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
The Signet Classics version had a Preface by Russel Baker talking about Eric Blair (George Orwell), his experience in Spain, and his belief in socialism--but not the Soviet interpretation. This short back-history along with the 1954 Introduction by C. M. Woodhouse, and the fairy-story itself, made for some interesting re-reading.
What do you think about the following analogies?
Pigs : The Seven Commandments :: US Politicians : Constitution of the United States
Napoleon : Milk :: US Political Parties : Money
Boxer : Windmill :: US Public : Climate Change
Not that these are perfect comparisons, nor have I really thought them through, but it is something to ponder.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
After all of the outdoor adventure this summer, Troy was still itching for more. He worked up plans to squeeze in one more drive and I agreed to go along with the boys. The result: Mt. Antero on 7 Sep.
The drive was very bumpy in spots and I would have to say it had one of the steepest dirt road stretches I have dealt with in a while. I did not spin wheels, but I was right on the verge of doing so a couple of times. Once we broke above tree line, the drive was pretty easy if you have no problems with the "exposure". Maybe if you were riding shotgun or if you have a strong fear of heights, then it would be uncomfortable. The boys have no fear in the truck so they were just fine. Near the end of the drive, the trail flattened out and snaked through a high park until making a zigzag up the last portion. The final leg was a little sporty on the switch-backs, with one that I had to do a two-point turn on. This part was even more interesting on the way down. Not really any more difficult, just a bit nerve racking if that stuff bothers you.
Once we got to the parking lot up top, three of us decided to summit the peak (Troy, Bernie, and myself). Troy's wife said she would keep an eye on the kids so we started off. Bernie decided a short way in that he did not want to continue due to the stress on his back, so he turned back for the trucks. Troy and I spent the next hour searching for the trail on the rock-strewn peak. Just short of the summit, there was a nice spot overlooking an easterly ridge line and a steep drop-off to the north. A few more vertical feet and we were at the top of 14,269 foot Mt. Antero. Troy and I shuffled around a bit and I picked up some nice white and pink quartz specimens before signing the log.
On our way down, very near the base of the summit trail, I noticed a vein of green stone and started to follow it off trail to the west. It was evident that others had been scrapping in the area before. I quickly found some small but fully formed quartz crystals. After hunting around for five or ten minutes I caught back up with Troy and we headed for the trucks to pick up the kids. Both Alex and Andrew were more than enthusiastic to finally have a focused rock hounding effort. We probably spent an hour poking around, with Alex and I finding some keepers but nothing that would be considered high quality.
Most of the return trip was uneventful except for the other drivers discovering some of the disadvantages of ABS while four wheeling (I already had my differential locker engaged so my ABS was disabled). Also, half way down to timberline, we literally ran into a herd of mountain goats.
Pictures of the day can be found on my Picasa album: http://picasaweb.google.com/GargoyleEyes/MtAntero08
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Lately I have had a radical idea (not really) of how to restructure the United States government, specifically the House of Representatives, in a way that some may find unique. I believe that this change could solve many of the issues Americans have with their federal government. I am planning to assemble a well thought out argument for this change on my web site along with an executive summary posted to this blog. Stay tuned, for a look into my thoughts on this and many more subjects.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Yesterday was a fun mini-adventure for the family. My father ("Pops" to the boys) joined us on our little excursion to Florissant Fossil Beds NM. We had a good bit of fun at the National Monument with a well guided tour given by a park ranger. The boys both picked up Jr. Ranger badges and in doing so, they learned a good bit about petrified wood, carbonized plant and insect fossils. After the one mile walking tour we went to the yurt and learned about how the paleontologists work through the shale to find various fossils. Currently they are not "digging" at the monument site but they definitely have a good bit to see. After we wrapped up our visit there, we made our way to the preserved homestead just up the way. Our final stop was to spend an hour at the private quarry inside the town of Florissant. Given a little bit of time, we were able to pry apart some of the shale and find our own small collection of leaf fossils.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
So things that I have been up to lately:
- New job position at Maxim
- Pre-planned Summer activities with the family
- Mildly studying US History (through The Thomas Jefferson Hour)
- Getting back into books--heavy stuff right now
- Yard work
My preoccupation of late has been the new reading. My latest finished book was Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller. I picked this up on a recommendation from Mike Fuchs (coworker at Maxim) and I was able to burn through it in less than two weeks. It helped that for one week I was on a business trip to Champaign IL for training in my new position. Anyways, the book was a good follow-up to the "bible survey" that Mike and I had been attending. This was a weekly, one-hour review of various chapters out of the bible, directed by Charles Sharman and attended by a number of folks at work. I was able to stick it out for over a year--a little longer than Mike, and I feel that I got out of it what I had been expecting.
The book however, was more down the lines of my beliefs (or thoughts at least) with a strong focus on the realities of physics and the undeniable truth of the real world. I won't go into my view point right now, but suffice it to say that this book was enlightening and refreshing. It was good to see that someone could articulate the juxtaposition of science and religion so well. I try to keep an open mind, to always be willing to participate in a discussion on the subject of religion and science. This book pointed out why that is a good thing for people on both sides of the debate: to always be willing to listen to each other and to adjust your point of view.
I have just started into a book that I have had sitting on my shelf for about 15 years: Pi in the Sky by John D. Barrow. It is a book on the history of numbers and mathematics. I also just bought The Trouble with Physics by Lee Smolin, again on the recommendation of Mike. We seem to share an interest in the background of science and I find it refreshing to have someone to talk to about the subject again. I even brought in a couple of my older books in for Mike to flip through: Chaos by James Gleick, and The World Treasury of Physics, Astronomy, and Mathematics by Timothy Farris.
Next on my Amazon wish list (though I seem to keep popping into Barnes & Noble to pick them up) is Dark Side of the Universe by Iain Nicolson, Cool It by Bjorn Lomborg, and Becoming Jefferson's People by Clay Jenkinson.