Friday, February 29, 2008

Dragon's Justice

I have decided to start puting up the first few chapters of My book on the web site at It is a swords and science fantasy. I know thats not really a catagory but give it a read and let me know what you think.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Groundhog plus 3

Found a cover for the bag today. Heavy green vinyl it is waterproof and adds 10 degrees to the temp rating. I think it will double as a tarp covering the trailer while I ride. Found it locally at 10 bucks less than I had seen it for on the web so that was cool. Hope to get back out soon, three weeks till the equinox and the weather has warmed a bit. Have been getting in some good rides but need to start stretching the distance again to get my wind up again. Also picked up some fire starter for the next night at the beach.
I wanted to share a few more thoughts on the Bison at Yellowstone but that post was getting out of hand. I still wonder what the beast was thinking or if he was thinking at all. It seemed obvious that we posed little threat to him, I doubt he would have come so close if he was even remotely threatened. The animals in a park like that are pseudo wild in that they are used to the presence of people, (the bison are rounded up and vaccinated each year) but they interact minimally. The last thing I will add is that they seemed to be very contented. The calm air of the self satisfied permeated the groups behavior. They just seemed very cool as opposed to the bored glazed over look that cows have.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My buffalo moment

I thought I might share a few stories from my previous travels. I went walkabout once before and spent a little over two years traveling in an RV. Today I was remembering a November day in Yellowstone. The plan had been to get there in early October but delays happened and we beat the heavy snows but they close the high roads in a couple of places and that makes getting around a bit of a pain. This map will show you the circular nature of the park road system and how when the North Rim Drive shuts down you end up taking long trips each way. We were staying in a campground in Cody WY just outside the east entrance. It was our habit to get up around 9 each morning and have breakfast in a small coffee shop near the gate that was well into off-season mode. The women in cowboy country are usually pretty cool, not so much with the men. Don has a long ponytail and at the time my beard rivaled the boys from ZZ-Top so we got used to the redneck evil eye from the guys in tractor hats. That would put us into explore mode around ten each morning. The days were cold and the wind was blowing 30 to 40 mph all the time, or so it seemed anyway but the skies were clear and incredible. They post wildlife sightings at some of the concession areas and at the Grant Village so we would head out to see what we could see. We had a running joke about the “mooselums” being in hiding as we had seen about every type of animal except a moose on our travels and this was 2001.
I make no claims to being an expert woodsman but I will pass along a few things that I have picked up about observing wildlife. Always try at the end of each day to find a watering hole to stop and take a break by. Get there about an hour before sunset and find a spot upwind. Then sit quietly and hope to get lucky.
On this occasion we found a great spot. a small pond just off the road surrounded on three sides by a lightwood. We had the sun at our backs and enjoyed some green dragon while we listened to the wind in the leafless trees. As the shadows lengthened we heard the snort first then saw the puff of steam. Out of trees stepped a massive Bison male. Following about ten paces behind were three females closely grouped together. The bull lumbered up to the waters edge and shook his head taking in the surroundings before moving up beside us in the car. We had parked at a 45-degree angle to the path causing him to step up to the side of the car his head even with mine. His hump rose up above the roof and his head was on the same level as my face. I looked into his eye to see myself swimming on the surface of a big black marble.
What struck me was the sense of calm he exuded. He had come to the end of another good day and now he and his small harem were about to retire for the evening after a refreshing drink. He blinked rarely and his breath escaped his nostrils in soft puffs that smelled of musk and grass. As he watched us unmoving the females made their way to the pond and drank for several minutes. They did not seem to spare us the slightest notice trusting their protector completely. Upon finishing the trio moved back they way they had come stopping a short way up the path to wait .Any sound they did make was muffled by the wind but for such massive bodies they move with a quiet grace but the bull knew when they were finished. He turned his back on us slowly and sauntered over to slake his own thirst. He spared us one last glance as he ushered his ladies back into the denuded wood now completely buried in shadows. We sat there unspeaking until the last light had faded and a few stars began to reflect on the stillness of the pond. One of us remarked that it was like the Mirrormere from Tolkien and that seemed to break the spell allowing us to start the drive back to Cody.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Hoping against hope

The world is not fair and when you realize that life has given you a royal screwing and has no intention of stopping anytime soon it can be a rude awakening. With apologies to Steven King and Ferddy Jenklo who learned this at age 10 the truth is just now coming to Hillary Clinton and it probably really bites. I do not particularly like Hill and Bill because they turned out to be self-serving liars that in the end cared only about themselves and how"they could save us" not that as a people we could move forward. They were always reluctant to sell the idea that they were pushing in an honest way. The Slick Willey moniker was easy to sell to the masses because of the circumspect way they parse language. That being said I think she got screwed by the media and a misogynist culture. The wingnuts at fox were going to treat her like a hated liberal no matter what and you expect them to have that condescending attitude toward women that unless they are hot and vapid they are scary. What I was surprised at was how almost everyone else in the media seemed to think that treating a sitting Senator like a housewife was cool. With the Clintons it is hard to tell how much is the hate they engender and the woman factor but the tone seemed to be set early in the race at the debates. While an articulate woman was on the stage answering questions the drooling commentators were talking about how hot Mrs. Kucinich was. the daily show said it best from that point they set her up to fail by calling her the presumptive nominee so that when she hit a few snags it was a disaster. I think what this showed is that middle class white guys are worried about being called racist but sexist they can live with. It was the nappy headed that did in the Iman not the ho's.
Why it worked I have no doubt will be a subject of scholarly tomes for years but you cannot run against hope. Obama inspires and Clinton bores and she may be smarter and more experienced but when she goes out on the stump and says pretty words and speeches don't matter, that it is the hard work that gets things done, that is a loser. She fell into the trap that many competent people do. She thought that it mattered that she had the right answers and we all saw how far that got Al Gore and John Kerry when they had no Zazz. To be fair Gore won despite the Clinton disgust factor. I think that the Senator from New York looked at the monkey in chief and his band of bonobos and thought that the world would jump at competence. I do not know if we will get the change we are hoping for, after all we are only voting for the chance to vote for a blackman.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Timing is everthing

The news from the front lines of fitness, I am out of shape. I will fight through the winter but damn I am sore. I had planned to send a little note to the Obama folks today on the Language of one of his speeches, “when you search your genealogy you hope to get lucky and be related to someone cool.” Here he pauses for a laugh after making some reference to cousin Dick. The rim shot line for that joke is, “well Dick Cheney did. I decided to skip that today as he is battling a plagiarism charge and probably not in the mood for criticism of such a trivial nature. I am so tired of petty squabbles but I fear this is the type of thing that works and that we will see more of. So much for my career as a political joke writer, timing is everything.
Also on my mind is cosmology. In light of what I am learning about dark energy and dark matter I think a cube of gelatin makes a better model for space-time than the trampoline with the bowling ball. Since gravity operates in all directions always attracting and dark energy operates in all directions always repulsing a 3d model of how space-time is warped seems more useful. I am talking about a model for educating school kids and nonscientists. The vacuum of space is more “viscous” than it appears and as even the empty parts have some energy. The Vacuum energy or the cosmological constant occupies even the most empty of spaces. The constant part of that I do not quite understand because if the universe is expanding I would thing it would have to dissipate in order to be conserved so that model needs more study by me and the other theory I was unfamiliar with so I need to read up on it a bit. Experimental physics is after all a bit complicated lol. This is a great age to be a dilettante with the mass of info available to all at the touch of a button. What I am thinking is possible on a computer screen maybe. If not make a very low-density fluid in a vinyl enclosure suspend light spheres of a ferrous metal and use a magnet to show the interaction.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

CNN watchers are whack

I had coffee with Mina while she did her nails and I made the rounds of my news sources. It is a needed distraction, as my head wants to explode with today’s news coverage. I am obviously a political junkies o the fact that 3 or 4 very important things are happening and Steroids are all that anyone is talking about. The Senate sold us out and gave the telecom companies immunity so we will never get to the bottom of the domestic spying done by Bush and his ilk. We are putting 6 guys on trial for participating in the 911 bombings and will try to execute people based on testimony obtained by torture in kangaroo courts. A man that thinks we can borrow and spend our way out of an economic situation caused by borrowing and spending is throwing away $170 billion dollars and what is the nation glued to? Roger Clemmons and steroid using baseball players. The big loser is Barack Obama in this none event as he all but locked up the momentum into March and the only thing that will be on the news is nonsense and railing against the nonsense and lost will be the total ass whipping that Obama has been giving Clinton. The Democratic Party has chosen inspiration over experience. The name recognition that the early primaries gave Clinton has evaporated and I think it is over. The reasons will be debated for decades but I will put forth my two cents early and see what happens. I will admit to an anti Hillary bias in that I find her and Bill to be untruthful. They speak with the forked tongue of the white man because they think they know better. People really resent that even when it is true. I think we have the better argument and all you have to do is stick to the facts and don’t cave and eventually we will win and by we I mean the left wing peace nut environmentalist humanist types. She has the dark queens desire to wield power for good but the power has a little too much pull. She would take up the one ring and we would all be dammed. This is a little extreme but the metaphor was to tempting to pass up and after all I am trying to get the creative juices flowing. That being said I would vote for her against any wing nut from the GOP, as she is smarter than most of us myself included. So here is why she lost and why the Obama camp won.
The anti war movement of the Democratic Party is energized. Most of us are not morons and while we are pissed about the war going on we know that the only hope to get out of Iraq is with a Democrat in the White House. These tend to be the young and Barack speaks to them better than Hillary. This brings me to my second point that Hillary is a dull speaker. People see another Al Gore John Kerry no personality wonk when they watch her speak. We like to be bullshitted, we don’t like to be told we have to work hard. By framing the discussion in inspiration rather than nuts and bolts he succeeds in keeping up the higher energy levels that turns out voters. I hate that it is this way, form over substance but it seems to be. I am not saying Obama does not have any substance just that his speeches are short on details. She was never as far ahead as the polls showed. The name recognition factor gave her all the early numbers and as the others went up she stayed the same and her high negatives going in doomed her in the end. Her support was soft among the people and more importantly the donors and when anyone else became viable she collapsed. These are the major themes for me. I think she miscalculated much the same as Rudy about the short attention span of people and the momentum factor. The #1 at the box office is huge in our culture. Another phenomenon that seems more prevalent among the younger population.
I also want to discuss some factors related to media coverage; while I think they played a role I do not think that role was as large as the media will play it up in the spate of books that will be spawned by this election cycle. The news media for the large part is very sexist in their attitudes. They are condescending to women and treated Senator Clinton as a woman in their concept of how a woman should be treated. The same mentality that makes guys like George Bush think it is appropriate to rub the shoulders of Andrea Merkel the leader of Germany . A lot of feminists are hacked off about this and rightly so. It will be hard to measure this effect but the media was very careful about racial buzzwords in relation to Obama and a lot of big names seemed to hate Clinton almost as much as any right wing conspirator. The complicating factor is that the corporate types think that Hillary helps the republicans so they want to run against her with Mcwarnut and keep their power in tact. The amount of sexism verses Clinton hatred will be hard to gage.
The next thing to address is will the youth vote show up in November? Half the viewers at CNN thought that two guys telling completely different stories were both telling the truth.

Monday, February 11, 2008

From electron to Idea?

I am back to daily rides and working some of the kinks out. The weather is still lousy but I am beginning to get out of the funk. I am not sure I will ever get by the time of Cary’s birthday without getting bummed out but this year it seemed to start right after Thanksgiving. Being sick did not help but enough whining.
The death kiss of Radmul proved ineffective against Obama and in fact may have operated in reverse as the Senator from Illinois has been on a roll since I voted for him. While he lost the state he carried my district and got our delegate. Since Ca he has swept the caucus states so he may get the nod and that will be interesting.
I am back to thinking about Ideas and consciousness and how one gets from an electron to an idea. I want to organize my thinking a bit more and then I think I will record a question for think big. and see if anyone can give me some input. The web has proven ineffective for me but I have some dialogs and will keep trying. Everyone is talking and no one is listening is a problem but if I come up with something to say I will develop a wider audience I think. The bones of my thinking involve the ways in which the brain cells interact. What are the surface proteins on neurons and how do they interact based on position and proximity and surroundings in addition to action potentials. This comes from a story I saw about bacterium communicating without contact. I still have not found enough research on this subject to put my idea together but I have not found that anyone else has put this together but I am still reading. It seems to explain some of the extra complexity that neuronal connections alone do not explain. It also is possible that this explains the movement before action potential effect of Libet. The number of things I need a deeper understanding of to explore this is long. Entanglement of electrons, surface protein communications I have a pretty good handle on in general but specifics get hairy. I need to look at advancements in neurophysiology and evolutionary biology as this give rise to questions of group selection or at a minimum a complicated co-evolutionary process. I also have to improve my online data sharing and gathering skills.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Kiss of Death

I voted today in a primary that actually has a small bit of meaning. My endorsement has meant dropping out early for the most part. Our official candidate DK fell by the wayside when the media was first able to exclude him. The torch was passed to Edwards and he quit a few days after I blogged about it so my vote for Obama may be the kiss of death but we shall see tonight. I like BHO but he is weak on some issues that I find Important and he seems to be more about a feeling than substance. Not that he is an insubstantial guy but his appeal is more the feeling of hope he projects than the nuts and bolts of his positions. Not my favorite position but I do not like the disingenuous manner that the Clinton camp operates in. In the end I am a pessimistic bastard so I see the repugnicans winning as the country goes sexist or racist. I have said it before I hope I am wrong but do not see a path through the Electoral College for either of the remaining Dems to win. I wanted to post this prediction before the polls close most places but the in breeders have gone Hucklebuck in West Virginia he took 52% of the vote had to laugh.
The training has been hard to get going again but I am out every day and will continue to rebuild as I can. I am just having a tough time pulling out of the funk but I am not giving up. I also need to tune up the machine again now that the harvest is done. Another let down but the mites won and I am about done with that altogether. I just can’t rationalize the power consumption in this day and age. That and there is just no chance that D can do this alone even if I find him a helper.