Tuesday, October 24, 2006


What I do for fun during the day…today we (Ecology did the press release) had a ‘major media’ event at the Upriver Dam PCB Sediments site. All the TV stations and the paper were there. Ecology and the Dept. of Health guys did most of the talking. I wasn’t interviewed which was good as I was having a bad hair week (never date your hairstylist and then don’t call back AND then go back for another cut, the result, as they say, is entirely predictable).

So, the intent is to cap the PCB sediments near the north bank of the river using an enormous ‘long stick’ excavator on a barge, which can be seen across the river in the photo. This is where I’ll be hanging out off and on for the next month or so.

Lake Painting

One of my best buddies did this multi-media painting/creation for the cabin the other day. His family also had a cabin at Newman when he was growing up, so we’re both kind of sentimental about the place. The photo just shows a section of the piece and doesn’t do it much justice. It’s a really beautiful work that takes a while to grasp fully; everyone I show it to points out different elements that I had yet to notice. I still don’t get it. What I do know--definitely one of the coolest gifts I've ever received.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Das Boot

From Fallingwater to The Boat…reality bites. The Boat has sailed the seven…er…three bays of Newman in splendid style-it just needs a little TLC at this point or something...maybe a torch. One big lesson I’ve learned from The Boat-never leave shore without a paddle.

Friday, October 13, 2006


Nice house, now it’s some kind of museum-I’ve heard the roof leaks due to design flaws-so what. A few pots and pans to catch the drips and some strategically placed Squirrel Trophy Heads-killer crib-I'll take it.

"Give me the luxuries of life and I willingly do without the necessities." -- Frank Lloyd Wright

Friday, October 06, 2006

Squirrel Trophy Head

It seems as if the one of the main functions of the internet has been to provide a virtually unlimited consumerist smorgasbord catering to every known fetish and creating new ones along the way. For example, the squirrel trophy head available at Custom Creature Taxidermy Arts. No cottage is complete without one. I think I’ll get two.

Or how about 'bringing your cottage to life' with custom toilet seats.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Real Climate

Real Climate is the real deal, the bona fide no-spin zone on climate change. It never ceases to amaze me just how sophisticated the mass media have become at propaganda. As a result, the populace as a whole have a distorted view of what is really happening when it comes to climate change. Perceptions are slowly changing as reality has a way of getting peoples’ attention, eventually. One of the favorite ploys of the media is to position a credible climate scientist against one of the quickly dwindling group of contrarian climate scientists and stage a kind of faux debate for the ‘benefit’ of the viewing public. The effect is to introduce far more confusion and uncertainty that actually exists-to mischaracterize and forestall a call to action on the part of the general public. Guess what-it’s all over except the tears.

If I hadn’t seen so many times how the mass media get it wrong I wouldn’t believe it either. At some point, one is faced with the realization that the media have an agenda and the agenda doesn’t have much to do with facilitating public debate on critical public policy issues...kind of makes you wonder what is really going on.

Remember the ozone depletion debate, how it raged in the media for a few years and then just...disappeared. Media coverage and the debate surrounding the issue disappeared due to the results of experiments based on the Rowland-Molina (both won the Nobel Prize for their work) model of ozone depletion in the upper atmosphere, an event the media covered poorly or not at all. Unfortunately, such decisive evidence is not available for an issue as complex as climate change. However, climate models are continually being refined and circumstantial evidence continues to accumulate. So much so that only a very few credible climate scientists are in the ‘change is not happening--or--there is nothing we can do about it anyway, so why bother’ camp. These are the folks you see on television.

So, if you’re interested in what mainstream climate scientists think about climate change, got to Real Climate. Then, go buy yourself a bicycle and get used to it.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Nuspirit Helsinki

At first I thought it pretty much sucked. But after a few beers and some time spent meticulously tuning the hifi, I decided to try it again. Lo and behold-this is one great CD. I didn’t realize they even knew about jazz in Finland, but these guys do it all. One of the best jazzy/chill CDs I’ve heard in a long time. Oddly, though it was released in 2002, it seems to be out of print and only available used. Read what others have to say about it here.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The blue building

This is the blue building, where I spend a lot of time. Completed in 1958, it has that Jetsons-like modern look to it. It was built during a period when people still believed in progress, in the modern as a way. Now, I don’t know…but we still have buildings like this to remind us of what once was.

Here is a pre-construction rendering of the blue building. It seems like there was so much optimism and hope for what the future held. I really like the boat pier on the river—hey!..we don’t need cars--just take the ferry. The reality: neither boat pier nor boats on this stretch of the river…seems strange. Anyway, I've really become attached to the place, it's almost 'homey' in a way. Sounds odd perhaps, but I've spent most of my life in schools and workplaces similar to the blue building; I've been institutionalized all my life and didn't even know it-at least they let me go home at night.