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Archive for February, 2008

Goodbye Friend: Rainey RIP

Rainman, our cat, died. He was a great cat: super loving, very vocal, with a great purr. I’ll miss him.

Here’s a couple of photos and below is my painting of Rainey, followed by the uTube video that I shot of Rainman doing a handshake with Michael.

Rainman the cat



Lura World Tour?

I have a vague goal of doing a Lura World Tour.

In addition to making a trek to Albania to go to Lura National Park, I just found out that I need to go to Tibet / China.

In the middle of nowhere, directly between Lhasa and Chengdu, there is a town called Lura.

This place is situated in Markam, Xizang Zizhiqu (Tibet), China, its
geographical coordinates are 29° 56′ 0″ North, 98° 37′ 0″ East.

The problem is that this place, at first glance, looks ridiculously difficult to get to. It looks like the Gap adventures to China and Tibet fly over the Lura, but none of the organized tours go there.

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Basically Good, but Occasionally Creepy

In general, my years of blogging have been good. People are generally nice. Lots of friends find me. Generally, it’s all good, clean fun.

Occasionally someone will find my blog, or some article I wrote, and contact me in a slightly unsettling manner. They might be fantastic people. Probably are wonderful, law-abiding citizens. I just get a weird feeling from the interactions since we have little or no shared background, yet sometimes an individual will launch into a level of information that it may take months to achieve in a real-life relationship. I have a low threshold and tolerance for such interactions and seek to end them as quickly as possible. I won’t go into details, but suffice it to say that 2 different men have creeped me out recently in response to my web presence.

So there are some things that I need to remind my kind and wonderful readers who are not also my real-life friends:

  1. Don’t assume that you know me. The blog is a persona, not the whole me, just a version of me.
  2. Be respectful. Don’t overstep your boundaries. It isn’t cool to start quoting things about me to me, it’s weird and it puts me at a disadvantage in a conversation. I don’t like it and it isn’t a way to impress me.
  3. I don’t ever to know about your sex life.
  4. You go be who you are. I’ll do the same. Vive la difference!
  5. Any expression of my personal opinions, preferences, and beliefs on my blog is not a direct assault against you and your life. Again, I encourage you to be who you are.

I used to have comments enabled on my blog. A severely creepy incident a while back ruined that for me. In fact, that incident is probably why I am so sensitive to anyone even slightly overstepping now. I still haven’t forgotten the one from my past, and I don’t have blog comments as a result.


My Days Measured on the Wing

While living in Escondido, my daily commute to/from the house along San Pasqual Road almost always included a hawk sighting. I’d look up and see the birds flying free and high. In one sense, seeing the birds was a wonderful respite a part of my routine that was pleasant and life-affirming. In another sense, it is a reminder of my dull and predicable life. In many ways, I am prisoner of my routine.

Despite the move to Seattle, life isn’t much different. The birds have changed: I see gulls or bald eagles every day. The route has changed too: now I see the birds when crossing the 520 floating bridge. The birds seem to play in the wind currents, and occasionally I see them dive for fish that must rise to the surface in the choppy waters.

But it struck me today, as I saw 2 bald eagles soaring just beyond my front windshield: I can measure my days in bird sightings.

Bald Eagle in Seattle (Seattle PI image)

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The Biggest Educational Reform in 700 Years

According to The Economist:
Europe is, in theory at least, now just three years away from one of the biggest overhauls of higher education in its history. By 2010 the Bologna Process is scheduled to sweep away idiosyncratic national systems and replace them with a standard Anglo-Saxon progression of Bachelor’s degree-Master’s degree-PhD.

This represents a major paradigm shift in education. It’s completely unprecedented too, since the European model hasn’t changed much since the middle ages.



I really need to go back to France.


INeedCoffee Article This Month

It’s already Feb 3 and I forgot to post a link to my INeedCoffee article of the month. Well, let’s remedy that. This article is about coffee, religion, and history.

Why Mormons Don’t Drink Coffee or Tea

Have you noticed that most followers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS) commonly called Mormons, don’t drink coffee or tea? You’ll see them enjoying herbal tinctures, hot cider, and many true believers even drink caffeinated soda. The casual observer may jump to the conclusion that this is 1) a law, 2) must have something to do with caffeine. Neither is accurate. This article goes into detail to explain the historical significance, context, and modern interpretation of the prohibition/exhortation against coffee and tea for Mormons. Read More >>

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