Thursday, July 30, 2009

Good night, and good luck

Goodbye, Kevin!

I understand that today was another one of Leo’s “big block of cheese” days! You all start out so cynical, but it never fails. By the end of the day, there’s always one or two converts, right? And today was no exception. C.J. Cregg is gonna be up all night writing a position paper for the interior department on the necessity of wildlife protection. C.J., I don’t mind the cost of this wolves-only highway. It’s the segregation. The ACLU is gonna file a petition on behalf of some reindeer, and then we’re all screwed. Sam Seaborn had a guy who spotted a UFO today, am I right? Sam laughed him out of his office, but you’ve been thinking about it ever since. But you can rest assured, Sam. It was not a spaceship from another planet, just another time. A long since abandoned Soviet satellite, one of its booster rockets didn’t fire and it couldn’t escape the earth’s orbit--a sad reminder of a time when two powerful nations challenged each other and then boldly raced into outer space.

What will be the next thing that challenges us, Toby? That makes us work harder and go farther? You know, when smallpox was eradicated, it was considered the single greatest humanitarian achievement of this century. Surely, we can do it again. As we did in the time when our eyes looked towards the heavens, and with outstretched fingers, we touched the face of God.

Here’s to absent friends, and the ones that are here now.



And I'm off on my own adventure, only temporarily. I may update occasionally during the trip, but it is unlikely. I will return on August 11.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pictures from the Road

I've gone through more of the photos from the California trip. What a blast (truly).

No time for more tonight (besides the photos). Tomorrow will be my last post until at least August 10 because of vacation.
Just downstream of Yosemite Falls.
Yosemite Falls from a beautiful meadow.
Half Dome.
General Grant's Tree. Well, about a fifth of it.
A healthier sequoia trunk.
Kings Canyon.
Within Kings Canyon.
The Kings River.
Grizzly Falls.

Follow-Up to "Dangerously Dumb People in the World" -- The Lou Stands for Lou-nacy

So how has Lou Dobbs reacted to criticism from other journalists, political action groups, and the public at large? Like an egomaniacal child. Or somebody completely oblivious to what equates to an official birth certificate. Or someone who listens to what he wants to hear and ignores everything else. Lou Dobbs has become the most dangerously dumb "journalist" in America.

The left is trying to silence their opponents and their competitors in the public marketplace of ideas... One issue in which the ethnocentric issue groups have been trying to silence me is on the issue of illegal immigration. Many of those, if you will, have migrated to me here recently because I, even though I said I believe the President is a citizen of the United States, I don't understand why he shouldn't produce a birth certificate. My God, you're talking about the third rail of American journalism, baby! That's it. I'm not going to back off.

The Obama administration has presented the birth certificate to the public...many times. Your knowledge of the "long-form" certificate is astoundingly idiotic. The State of Hawaii has reported, multiple times, that the long-form version of the birth certificate was trashed when the state went digital with birth certificates. The short-form is an official birth certificate in the state of Hawaii. End...of...story. Except that a local newspaper in Hawaii reported Obama's birth the day he was born. Seriously, Lou, see a doctor. See a psychiatrist. Somebody. Anybody. Obama has already provided official documentation claiming he was born in America. This documentation has been authenticated by the state of Hawaii.

He goes on...

And tea-bagging queen Rachel Maddow over at MSNBC, she wanted another shot so apparently she twisted, she tried to twist my words. She ignored my statements on the issue. In other words, she was not being intellectually honest. Imagine that. [...] She lied. I never said I'm a 'birther.' I'm not. I don't know how many times I've said, 'Barack Obama is a citizen of the United States. Why not release your birth certificate?' What is the big deal with saying that?

Not saying you're a birther doesn't mean you aren't one, Lou. Since you are asking why Obama hasn't released his birth certificate...when he has...multiple times...makes you just as stupid and as "birther" as people who somehow believe he wasn't born in this country. I listened to Rachel's comments about you, and they were completely accurate. She is not lying at all when she claims that you (read: yourself and CNN) have contributed to the continuation of the "debate". The big deal with asking Obama to release his birth certificate is that he HAS released it.

I reiterate, Lou Dobbs, RESIGN. Your complete ignorance and stupefying arrogance in your stance without one shred of evidence you've actually looked into the matter AT ALL is a travesty to journalism and CNN and an insult to your viewers/listeners.

And a runner-up here to our lovely Senator Inhofe, who says that birthers "have a point". "I don't discourage it."

Oh? Later that day:

"The White House has not done a very good job dispelling the concerns of these citizens." What should Obama do? Make a time machine and export these morons to Hawaii in 1961 to watch his mother give birth to him? No one and nothing will convince these idiots that Obama was born in America. And all you are doing is stoking the fire.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This Is the Life

Alarm clock sounds at 9:30 am. Bitch-slap the alarm. Alarm clock goes off at 9:37 am. Reluctantly push the button down.

The doctors on House call it "the usual". After "the usual", begin working on the computer. At 11:30 am, go to work on different computers. Get phone call. Talk about a friend's practical joke that gets him in hot water with his girlfriend. Laugh a lot.

Friend comes in with R question. Turns into MATLAB presentation. Some imitation of sopranos while mimicking MATLAB commands.

More work. Realize that lunch has been skipped. Get quick bite at Dying Cow. Go back, eat sandwich, and instruct new user how to use WRF. Four-and-a-half hours later, discovery of WRF bugs and compilation quirks finally leads to successful simulation. Hurray.

Then go to dinner with advisers and departing student. Talk lots about the esoteric lives we have. Mock people who don't know geography, who do live in Texas, and who believe the NWS knows how to verify things. Much laughter and salsa splattering.

Then go to house party of another departing student. Champagne, discussion of an absentee's damaged testicle(s), and MVPs are top stories. Much laughter and skullduggerous reviewing.

Then walk home and write note.


I could write about any one of the various things I've listed above in great detail, as most of the events of today deserved great detail. I could write of my strange interactions with nearly everyone I've come across today. I could discuss the absolutely fantastic food I had at Ted's.

But not today. Today doesn't deserve such scrutiny and review. Today was a day in the life. Lots of stuff happened, good stuff, important stuff. But I enjoyed today for just being an observer in a constantly changing world. Sometimes all you need to do is watch, learn, feel, live.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Run Like Hell

This evening I was walking/running around Norman for my weekly 10-miler, and as usual, I marvel at the number of people who do the same thing. Some are crazier, running at sunrise or at peak heating. I've watched a few runners run around the same parking lot over and over again. Others (like me) take a different path each time.

But it got me to thinking tonight. What do I think about while spending so much time essentially "running around"? Some bring the iPods with them; others are more "old school" with their headphones. I watched one tonight running briskly while talking on the cell phone. I'm sure the "other end" had trouble discerning the words, since there was a very audible gasp with each step. People like to distract themselves as they run, maybe to call attention away from the strain on the body or to stop thinking about things. I, however, am the opposite. I don't own headphones or iPods, don't even know what it feels like to be running and talking on the cell at the same time. I run to think.

Mostly, I run to think about a plan of action for something work-related. If people have seen me in the National Weather Center walking around in circles, that's a brainstorming session. Sometimes, though rarely these days, I vent my frustrations with others or seek a "distracting conversation" only to be secretly scheming ideas in my head. Whatever the case, baby, I was born to run.

Usually, for my weekly "long dash", my thinking doesn't involve work. This week, for example, I thought about some of the political news that was occurring this past week. How the "birthers" topic won't go away and how I can't interpret it any other way than racism. How Bachmann can be in Congress. How the Gates debacle became a debacle. How lobbyists may be beneficial in the health care debate. How Rachel Maddow so impressively slammed Rick Perry in her show. And soon, the ten miles were done. I didn't even remember my entire route (and, obviously, ten miles is an approximation, though a little work with my GPS this evening indicates that I ran 9.6 miles).

I'm fairly certain that listening to music would not distract me from the fact that I'm running ten miles. Because I know the music I listen to so well, I could theoretically estimate where I should be by the end of the song. That would get on my nerves.

Sometimes, people run by me without music technology in tow. I wonder if these people are in deep thought as they "run around". Wouldn't you have to be?

Sometimes I people watch. I noticed a group of soccer players near the tennis courts tonight, and laughed when two players from opposing teams were arguing over a potentially unnecessary kick to the shins. I noticed a remarkably large number of archaic vehicles on Asp Avenue. I watched a sand volleyball player with a wicked digging capability. I saw that Which Wich was empty once again.

Running is an escape, really, and it's great for you. It's a little hard on my legs these days, noticeably harder than in years past. The unpleasant fifteen minutes after completion is enough to drive people away from doing it again. But, it gives me time to think critically about things that I may otherwise never explore. It allows me to see glimpses of other people in a similar world. Running is good for you physically, but it can be great for you mentally, too.


Follow-up to "Dangerously Dumb People" on Friday: Interesting NY Times piece on the birther rebirth this past week. In it, MSNBC's president says that the birther movement is racist, an opinion with which I agree.

Miscellaneous Musings from Man with Massive Migraine

Oh, the head. The head!

So, Norman's at 9 now. Everyone living here knows what that means.

Comic-Con is ongoing in San Diego. For sci-fi fans everywhere, this is the event of the year. Several panels are held by the lead producers and actors of television shows, movies, and other forms of entertainment. The event is usually packed, and this year appears to be no exception. Excellent coverage of the event has been provided by TV critics Maurice Ryan and Alan Sepinwall. Some great commentary on the Lost, Dollhouse, Chuck, and Caprica panels. Besides a live Jeffster! appearance and a Season 3 Chuck poster that literally sent me to the floor, the quote of the conference was from BSG lead writer Ronald D. Moore, discussing the Emmys:

It is a frakking crime that...the cast was never recognized for the performances they did. It is criminal. I'll tell you one thing, I would not be on this panel today if it was not for the ensemble of actors.


Speaking of BSG, tragedy struck this week when series producer Harvey Frand died on Thursday. Bear McCreary, who was the genius behind the music for the recent series, holds concerts every year at Comic-Con for his work on BSG. Edward James Olmos, Michael Hogan, Michael Trucco, Richard Hatch, Nicki Clyne, James Callis, Michelle Forbes, Grace Park, frequent director Michael Nankin, series EP David Eick, and McCreary all gave emotional tributes to Frand, and the concert was dedicated in his honor. Maurice Ryan called the tributes "moving and touching" and indicated the concert was a resounding triumph. Man, how I wish I could have been there. Katee Sackhoff, who joins 24 next season, also attended and performed a piano duet with McCreary. Wow!

Speaking of Caprica, the new series begins on January 22 on the newly named SyFy. As one TV Guide reader described his assessment of the new name for the channel, "Yt stynks." BSG writers Ron Moore, Michael Taylor, and Jane Espenson are all staff writers for the new show, which does not appear to "stynk" after reading a few reviews of the pilot.

I woke up at 2:30 pm today. Summer stynks.

Frank Rich wrote a scathing review of tributes to Walter Cronkite while even more harshly demonizing today's media in a telling New York Times op-ed.

Earlier this week, potential dangerously dumb candidate Campbell Brown claimed that CNN was the only cable news outlet conducting journalism today. The same week that Lou Dobbs stoked the idiotic "birther" argument and Rick Sanchez denounced Hispanics working for Fox News and called Bill Maher on "opportunist". And don't even start me on Larry King.

Glenn Beck decided to "get symbolic" about states' rights this week by removing all but two stars from the flag:

His reason was that Alaska and Tennessee are the only states for which the governors (Palin is...was? the governor of Alaska, see) have signed a resolution claiming sovereignty. (States' rights, you say?) Of course, "symbolically" desecrating the flag was a nice way of showing his side of the argument. Eh, at least Rick Perry would be happy.

Speaking of Rick Perry, Rachel Maddow absolutely SLAMMED him on her show Friday night:

My migraine is slowly winning the battle. I must end this before the misery for me AND you becomes intolerable.