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Friday, January 14, 2005


Oh yay. We landed a little robot gizmo on one of Saturn's moons. Apparently, it's important that the lander is the size of a Volkswagon Beetle, because every news story feels inclined to mention that fact 6 times per paragraph. If we're lucky, with the data it sends back to us, we should be able to prove, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that yet another celestial entity sucks. OK. So now we know that the moon, Mars, and Titan are definitely not of any interest or use to us. I saw the images. I disagree with the news story that labeled them "breathtaking." Yeah right. If you drove through a place that looked like that here on Earth, you'd say, "Christ, what a godforsaken hell-hole," and the air force would come shoot missiles at it, for practice.

Ever notice how we spend bajillions of dollars trying to figure out what's in space and how old the universe is and what Earth was like a katrillion years before life began (because all of this is so relevant to humanity), or, even worse, making newer, sexier airplanes to defend us from enemies we don't even have, or constructing elaborate multi-zillion dollar contraptions to smash atoms to bits so that we can look at the little smashed bits and say 'Look! Little smashed atom bits!' but there's never enough money for studying things like sustainability, alternative energy, conservation, the quality of the Earth's atmosphere, or, what the hell, even how to feed all the new little people that keep cropping up in ever-increasing numbers?

At least that Titan robot saucer only cost $3.3 billion. Which is like...1/5th or something the cost of one of those new fighter planes we're making so that we can defend ourselves against the communists.

And what's up with the battery life on that piece of junk?!? They waited over a decade for it to make it there, so that they could collect...get this...THREE MINUTES OF DATA on the surface before the batteries died. Sheesh. You'd think for $3 billion they'd have thrown in the extra-life batteries or something. We might as well have just launched a Volkswagon Beetle into the Nevada desert with one of those giant catapults, taken some grainy, black-and-white pictures, and called it good. We might have learnt something.


Wednesday, January 12, 2005


I invented a new drink...

How to make a Brandy New-Fashioned:


Brandy (preferably the cheap, rot-gut stuff)
Angostura Bitters

Place 3 ice cubes in a rocks glass. Put 4 dashes of bitters over the ice. Pour 1 1/2 - 2 oz. of brandy over bitters and ice. Swish around. Drink. Repeat as needed.

It's essentially a Brandy Old-Fashioned, but without the sugar cube. Mainly, because I don't have sugar cubes, but also because I like the bitters to be in the forefront.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005


New Art....of Happy Jack Bluegrass Fest '04..


Sunday, January 09, 2005


So I think my circadian rhythm is off. I seem to remember reading something about how normal, pre-electricity human beings had this system whereby they went to bed a bit after the sun went down, woke up & were awake for about an hour during the night (I'm guessing sometime around midnight-2 a.m.) and then woke up a bit before the sun came up. I seem to have shifted my rhythm significantly. Occasionally, I can get to sleep if I go to bed before midnight, but I always wake up. The earlier I go to bed, the longer I'm awake, it seems. Last night I went to bed at about 1. I was probably asleep by 1:30 (unusual for me to go to sleep so quickly), and was awake by 5:30. I probably woke up sometime in that period, but I can't remember for certain, so I must have gotten about 4 hours of pretty solid sleep, which is outstanding for me, of late. Typically, I wake up between 4 and 5 (if I go to bed between midnight and 2 a.m., which is normal for me), and then fall back to sleep and can sleep really well until about 9 a.m. I'm thinking that my circadian rhythm has been pushed back so that instead of waking up around midnight or whatever like a normal person, I wake up around 4 or 5. So by the time most people are thinking about getting up, I'm only halfway through my night's sleep.

Anyway. By 6 a.m., I was bored, so I decided to get up. Took me until 6:15 to make it out of bed (I move slowly in the morning). I took a shower, got my boots and coat on, grabbed the new camera, and went for a walk. Laramie rules at about 6:50 on a winter morning. It was just starting to get light, and it wasn't even that cold - 33 or something when I left. I walked downtown, and then up onto the pedestrian overpass that goes over the train tracks. There was a nice view from there - sun coming up over the Laramie Mountains to the east, and painting the Medicine Bow Mountains to the west. A few trains rumbled to a start and headed east by south. I watched the trains for awhile, watched the sun come up, snapped a few pictures, then headed home the long way. I probably walked about 3 miles. Just enough to wake me up. I was sweating by the time I got home.

7:19, from the pedestrian overpass above the train yard in Laramie, Wyoming:


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