Archive for May, 2008

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An evening of photography with Alissa

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Heavy industrial

Although I’m exhausted today thanks to an evening of night photography with Alissa, it was totally worth it. The idea begun ages ago when she pointed out the shadows cast by the wiring shown in the above photo and ended up being one of my 101 goals. Alissa best captured the beautiful shadows better than I did, but I really enjoyed the evening and the shots that I did get.

Time to get more coffee – I’m too old for this whole staying up late thing!

Becoming my father?

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Self portrait

My sister says I’m starting to look like my father. Looking at this image objectively I have to admit that it’s true. Add a few pounds and a little gray hair and I would _become_ my dad!

The news is good

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Good news – Skype’s recent injury is healing well. The vets optimism that it was a muscular problem and not something arthritic or nerve related seems well founded – after 3 days of kennel rest and anti-inflammatory drugs he’s already feeling much better. Last night he was even able to (slowly) crawl up in to bed with me again!

I spoke with the vet and she confirmed that this was a good sign but urged me to continue to keep him very calm and on the anti-inflammatory drugs for the remainder of the course to prevent re-injury. As much as he’s bored to tears and getting frustrated I’m just glad it’s something he will be over soon as opposed to a life time of pain and aggravation.

Poor Skype

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

Poor Skype is on kennel rest (very low-key, no running, no playing, no stairs) for a week thanks to a sacral canal(?) injury on his back. It’s most likely a minor muscle injury at the junction of his spine and rear hips. He got diagnosed yesterday at the vet after a few days of pain when walking up stairs. It’s actually gotten so bad that he can’t get up on my bed or the couch because angling his rear legs up is too painful.

The good news is that if the vet is correct he will be much better in a week or so. The bad news is that this kind of injury can be a very early sign of canine arthritis – certainly something I hope is not true. I don’t need to see poor Skype endure pain like my grandmother did through much of her life.

Pain gap?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Science Blog writes about a Princeton University study on how people perceive and experience pain as viewed through the filter of their economic status. The study found that pain levels for residents of households making less than $30,000 were on average twice as high as the pain levels of residents in households with incomes above $100,000.

As strange as this sounds it does make sense – insurance and health care is expensive these days, and the lower salary ranges tend to have more physically oriented jobs. Not having the money required to fix the root cause of a particular pain leaves the sufferer with two choices: dull the pain with inexpensive drugs (read: over the counter drugs), or suffer onward enduring the pain. Neither option really strikes me as an ideal long term solution, but until a national health care plan with reasonable reach and plausible economics exists do we have another option?

The legalization of marijuana – a stillborn movement?

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

I just got back wet and depressed from the preamble to the Medical Marijuana March in Seattle. I really believe in the mission to legalize medical marijuana (and legalize marijuana in general), but unfortunately neither case is likely to happen any time soon thanks to the general strategy and constituency of the legalization movement.

Admittedly due to the rain the parades attendance was down from what the organizers would have hoped for, but worse was the cross section of society that showed up. A good half of the attendees had the stereotypical stoner look – not what you want showing up on the evening news though. When people see the B roll footage that is likely to make the media what will they see? Certainly not sickly looking patients desperately needing marijuana to survive. Certainly not professional and trustworthy looking people – just stoners through and through. It presents the public with a rough image composed of stoned hippies drenched in patchouli eating chips rather than doctors and businessmen giving credibility and weight in the public eye.

What the marijuana legalization campaign really needs is a true spokesperson. Someone professional and educated with a sharp tongue and an even sharper suit. A spokesperson to show up on TV and talk to the American public – not show up at a hemp rally and talk to stoners. The kind of people who attend rallies marches, and events are already swayed – the movement needs to broaden its focus and broaden it’s message to the other 99% of the public.

As Abraham Lincoln once said “With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it nothing can succeed.” To enact the same kind of broad social change that Lincoln once did the movement needs to sway public sentiment, not stoner sentiment.

Update: My friend Shae just pointed me at this article. It would seem Rick Steves has stepped up to the plate to hopefully be just the spokesperson I’m looking for here. Go Rick!

Hotel Rwanda

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

As a part of my quest to see 100 of the 250 top movies of all time I’m first going through all the ones I own on the list, but somehow haven’t seen. Tonight brought a viewing of Hotel Rwanda with Brian and Brien.

I have to say – I’m stunned. Hotel Rwanda is a fantastic movie – a beautiful portrait of humanity in the worst of circumstances. It’s the rare kind of movie that can be depressing and uplifting to the soul at the same time. Seeing Paul Rusesabagina’s courage and compassion in the face of such an brutal genocide reminds the viewer that the human race just might have a chance of making it after all.

Twitter is down again

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Is it just me or is Twitter down almost as much as it’s up these days? I realize they have a very difficult technical challenge presented to provide a service like Twitter, but I mean ultimately if IRC has been able to do basically the same thing for the last 20 years why can’t they?

Metaspark

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Or: Further experimentation with personal aggregation services

After my initial experimentations with personal aggregation basically failed I’ve decided to take another stab at it, but this time with a DIY bent. I registered metaspark.net and am working a complicated series of WordPress plugins to attempt to create the functionality I want.

Unfortunately it’s not entirely baked yet, but keep your eye on that domain – once I get a few RSS aggregation, twitter update, and posting date issues sorted out it should be ready to go fully live, and with style no less.

Stay tuned!

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