Tuesday, May 09, 2006


So here I am at day 2

and things are going ok. Well, even.

I like it here. People have been kind, and excited to welcome me to the team. Kind of nice, for a change.

I could use more change like this. :)

Lots of reading. That gets old, but the amount of reading will go down, at least a little. It's not that I dislike reading, but the material is so boring it's stupefying to read for any length of time.

I knew there was a reason I didn't want to be a lawyer.


Saturday, May 06, 2006


Some thoughts on ending one career and starting another

Yesterday was my last day at a job I have worked at, in one way or another, for 24 years. On Monday I start a new job, in a new organization – a very different organization – although I remain an engineer.

As if that describes anything I’ve done for the past 24 years. What I have done, and expect to continue to do, is solve problems. Maybe in this new job it won’t my job to solve ALL the problems, just a subset.

This past week was hard. Tension ratcheted upward with each passing day, peaking yesterday at 4 – when I said goodbye to everyone. A few handshakes, a few hugs, and it’s over. How strange is that.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Not.
I hate it.
Loosing the ties to close friends makes me ill.


Thursday, May 04, 2006


Some thoughts on Tom Maguire and current issues

So I’ve been thinking about Tom Maquire. I keep wondering where his sympathies truly lie. Three recent issues – Moussaoui, the admin’s global warming study, and Steele’s OpEd – all seem to be right up his kind of alley, and yet, as of yesterday evening, 5/3/6, he hadn’t posted a word about any of them.

What is up with that? His primary audience is probably in love with Steele, mad that Moussaoui wasn’t executed, and totally taken aback by the study. Yet he keeps talking about Plamegate, or Colbert, or the Duke Lacrosse team. Or even immigration.

Which, of course, his audience can’t get enough of, either.

I wouldn’t care except that Tom has a voice – and damn near a reasonable voice.

In the same way Steele has a voice because his OpEd was published by the WSJ, Tom has a voice in the blogosphere. Of course, there’s no reason he should speak up on every issue that interests me, but I do wonder.

I wonder why the WSJ printed Steele, too. I see it one of two ways – either they were pandering to their base, or they believe in him, and in his words.

I can forgive the pandering thing, even though pandering is a nasty thing to do, but the other, not so much. ‘Cause if it’s the other, and considering who makes up their base, or basement, such belief makes the WSJ a very real part of Eisenhower’s despised military-industrial complex. A tool of that complex, if you will.

A tool of evil, if you will.


Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Moussaoui gets life

And I’m ok with that. ‘Cause if we can execute Moussaoui for wanting to be a suicidal hijacker, then we’d have to execute Shelby Steele “White Guilt and the Western Past” for wanting to be a genocidal maniac.

Not to mention for carrying idiot genes.



Some more thoughts on global warming (I did talk about this before, right?)

The NYT published an article reporting on the results of a study commissioned by the Bush admin. The study, excerpted below and located here NYT Article, concludes that global warming is real and that human being are a cause.

A scientific study commissioned by the Bush administration concluded yesterday that the lower atmosphere was indeed growing warmer and that there was "clear evidence of human influences on the climate system."

The finding eliminates a significant area of uncertainty in the debate over global warming, one that the administration has long cited as a rationale for proceeding cautiously on what it says would be costly limits on emissions of heat-trapping gases.

But White House officials noted that this was just the first of 21 assessments planned by the federal Climate Change Science Program, which was created by the administration in 2002 to address what it called unresolved questions. The officials said that while the new finding was important, the administration's policy remained focused on studying the remaining questions and using voluntary means to slow the growth in emissions of heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide.

The focus of the new federal study was conflicting records of atmospheric temperature trends.

For more than a decade, scientists using different methods had come up with differing rates of warming at Earth's surface and in the midsection of the atmosphere, called the troposphere. These disparities had been cited by a small group of scientists, and by the administration and its allies, to question a growing consensus among climatologists that warming from heat-trapping gases could dangerously heat Earth.

The new study found that "there is no longer a discrepancy in the rate of global average temperature increase for the surface compared with higher levels in the atmosphere," in the words of a news release issued by the Commerce Department and approved by the White House. The report was published yesterday online at climatescience.gov.

The report's authors all agreed that their review of the data showed that the atmosphere was, in fact, warming in ways that generally meshed with computer simulations. The study said that the only factor that could explain the measured warming of Earth's average temperature over the last 50 years was the buildup heat-trapping gases, which are mainly emitted by burning coal and oil.


But Dr. Christy, who teaches at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, said the report also noted that computer simulations of the climate system, while good at replicating the globally averaged temperature changes, still strayed in projecting details, particularly in the tropics.

This implied that the models remained laden with uncertainties when used to study future trends, he said.

Dr. Christy also said that even given what the models projected, it would be impossible to slow warming noticeably in the coming decades. Countries would be wise to seek ways to adapt to warming, he added, even as they seek new sources of energy that do not emit heat-trapping gases.

I wonder how the right, and particularly the right blogosphere, will now deal with the issue. No GW and DEFINITELY no anthropogenic causes have been articles of faith of the right for years now. I think we get a clue from Christy’s last words in the article – we can’t do anything but learn to cope with climate change.

I don’t know why we’d now listen to the same people who have been so wrong for so long as they try to tell us what to do about global warming.

2 years ago NPR interviewed Christy. This is the short version of the interview, “Christy is a respected climatologist, but he's also a maverick who argues that global warming isn't a problem worth worrying about. His major contribution has been to analyze millions of measurements from weather satellites, looking for a global temperature trend. He's found almost no sign of global warming in the satellite data, and is confident that forecasts of warming up to 10 degrees in the next century are wrong.”

Well, Dr. Christy, why should we listen to you now?


Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Some thoughts on reading right wing blogs

I read a few right wing blogs.

Ok, one, Tom Maguire’s Just One Minute. Tom’s ok, if a bit invested in the current manifestation (or is it infestation?) of the administration. I will cruise through other sites if pointed by a specific reference somewhere, but I surely don’t go there just to read.

But the place I NEVER go anymore are the comment sections of right wing blogs. And not for the obvious – I do comment everywhere I go, and I get bashed regularly. I don’t mind that – not much, anyway. What makes me ill is the unabashed racist warmongering that goes on in the comments. I get a look into the soul of some of my fellow citizens, and it makes me ill.

It’s kill, kill, kill.

Drop the bomb, use the AC 130 gunships, do whatever it takes to kill a billion or two Muslims, and the world will be just fine. When I read the words of people who can say that, even on a blog, I feel like I have slipped out of the real world into some outer ring of hell, or worse, that I have lived in some fantasy land where human beings didn’t wish death to whole populations and am now consigned to the real world, which exists in some outer ring of hell.

Get the picture? It’s an outer ring of hell either way.

I never thought I’d see the day when people who call themselves Americans would advocate genocide. But here we are.

We are Nazis in all but name.



Some thoughts on archetypes and Harry and Hermione

So, like there is this whole body of analysis of Harry Potter out there – and from a Jungian Archetype viewpoint, no less.

Imagine that.

I mean, how obvious does it have to be? Harry as hero, Hermione as Anima. Who can’t love that? Not me, that’s for sure.

I think all the stories I like are just like Harry and Hermione, even when the the hero is a woman and the anima is an animus – or another anima. :)

You have to be flexible about these things, you know. We can’t all be stuck in some illusory past where girls were only girls and loved only guys, and the guys were the heroes and the girls great arm candy.

Nope. I’ll take my heroes where I find them. Even when I know they have feet of clay, or come from the wrong gender.

‘Cause, hon, we all got feet of clay, and we all got an inner woman.


Monday, May 01, 2006


Some thoughts on what makes a good story

B and I went to the movies the other night (last week). I hoped to find a story with some guts in it, some overarching philosophy and meaning.

No luck.

The best we could find was the bank heist movie with Denzel. It was good, but I realized yet again that good stories, for me, are not only the plot but the why. It doesn't matter if it's a movie, a book, a play, even music.

I read the new Jim Butcher this weekend. A great read. I loved it. And I loved it because you can see the author’s beliefs about the world in the story, and they matter - those beliefs impel the story along. I like that.

A lot.

No, those beliefs shouldn't intrude so much that the story becomes something else - but a story with no guts just isn't much fun.

It may be a Jungian archetype kind of thing. The best stories for us as individuals are about archetypes with which we resonate, the characters placed in opposition to archetypal characters to which we antipathetic. Mysteries, romance, fantasy - you can see the archetypal thing at work in all the major genres, and maybe ALL genres.

In the very act of writing archetypes, we create stories with guts, at least for those readers who have the same archetypal likes and dislikes. You can't read a story about someone with whom you don't resonate. At least you can’t read it and enjoy it.

There are only so many stories. But the telling, now that can be fresh and new a zillion times over.


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