Saturday, September 30, 2006

Seattle Pics

A few pics from Seattle yesterday and today.

Space Needle thru the arches of the Pacific Science Center

Experience Music Project Building

Experience Music Project Building a little later

Monica and Dan at dinner

Steve at play on beach

Steve and Joan at beach at Discovery Park

Friday, September 29, 2006

Blogging to Nobody

When I set this up, in part I wanted to figure out how blogs work and just figure out what's happening in the blog world. I've been checking out the next blog button and leaving messages as I mentioned earlier. Here are some tentative findings:

1. Lots of blogs, not a lot of comments.
2. People get their friends to visit their blogs.
3. I was able to connect with Google early on, and they crawled my blog. I was even able to find my blog thru google with enough specific parameters. But lately I haven't been able to do that. I seem to no longer exist. Except I can get to me through Google's blog search, but not Google search.
4. There are lots of schemes for people to increase their hits. I found a couple by accident. I left some comments on other people's blogs, and two of those people left comments on mine. And there is stuff in blog help that talks about how to increase traffic.
5. 25Peeps is a site I found through another blog. It links to your site from your picture, and they have some scheme to rate each pic and how long it stays up. But they don't seem to have changed any pics since I first looked at it. It all seems to be a clever scheme to get people to keep going back to 25peeps.

Anyway, that's a bit what I've learned. If anyone reads this, and knows more than I do - not hard - please give me some tips.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Few Pictures

It was a beautiful sunny day on Monday.

Bike trail approaching Goose Lake

Michel, visiting from Juneau, on Bird Ridge Trail

View from Bird Ridge Trail

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Scott Simon's Eulogy for Oriana Fallaci

She was a journalist who pursued the story and angle she believed in. Usually that meant getting past the facade. And pissing off people in power. Scott Simon's eulogy caught a glimpse of her.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Henry Giroux and the Market's Encroachment into Everything

I've been bothered a while about our local University having sold the name of the sports center to Wells Fargo. You call up and hear, "Wells Fargo Sports Center." The name isn't just in normal lettering on the building, it's in the red Wells Fargo corporate lettering. Inside are logos from many different companies. Listening to an interview with Henry Giroux Monday helped clarify why this bothers me. He argued, among other things, that the market has oozed into totally inappropriate parts of American life. The University, for instance, is supposed to be a neutral space where issues can be debated, but universities are completely marked by corporate presence. How can one have an open debate about the problems of modern banking in a building named after Wells Fargo? Even if you have the debate in another building, the shadow of the Wells Fargo money will inevitably chill the discussion.

Later Monday I got another good example of the invasion of the market. The National Peace Corps Association is highlighting returned Peace Corps volunteers who are "social entrpreneurs." The term was coined to suggest the application of good business techniques to non-profits. However well-intentioned the coiners of the term may have been, this is part of the takeover of English by the market view of the world. We can only think in market terms - where efficiency and profit are the highest values. There's no question non-profit organizations need to manage themselves to make the best use of their resources, and successful non-profit leaders have done this. This isn't a skill that is owned by the private sector. And do we want to be like the entrepreneurs at Enron? So I hope you listen to the interview with Henry Giroux and start paying attention to how the market has encroached into your world and your language. As they say, the bottom line is...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Being Apolitical is Being Dead

Beginning this blog, I was going to steer clear of politics. But a by-word of the 60's was 'everything is political.'

We all know that walking past someone obviously in need of assistance is wrong. We have an obligation to stop and give what help we can, even if that means finding someone else who can help.

Politics is about the allocation of power in a society. Not writing about Bush and Iraq and the so called war on terror, is a political act. It is like walking past the old man who just slipped on the ice. Like not calling an ambulance when you see a serious accident. Like not defending the child who has been falsely accused. It is being silent in the face of need or injustice. In a democracy, we are responsible for our government; when it is wrong, we are responsible for fixing it.

Yesterday I wrote my Congressional delegation asking them to vote against Bush's attempts to eliminate due process (roughly the right to a fair hearing before being deprived of life, liberty, or property) and his attempts to ignore bans on torture. Our Founding Fathers added the Fifth Amerndment to the Constitution because they knew that most anyone would eventually confess to anyting after enough torture.

For over two hundred years, we have been,a beacon of hope to the people of the world. We have been proof that trusting people with freedom is far more powerful than trying to control everyone's actions. Yes people abuse the freedom, but we feel the abuses of power by rulers is more dangerous than by the people.

For whatever reasons, whether belief that imprisoning without trial and torture are necessary to fight terrorism, or for calous political gain, Bush's policies are dimming that hope for everyone around the world. Already, by getting Bush to serverly curb American liberties, the terrorists have won.

An additional note. I've put up a link to This is a site set up to help people who wanted to support the soldiers by sending them things they need. I post this site becaue I think it gives a unique picture of the war. But also becasue while I think the war is a terrible mistake, I think performing acts of kindness to the soldiers is an important model for them. Many are there because they truly believe they are defending 'good.' I think they are wrong, but at least we can talk. And maybe we can end up with better understanding of each other's perspectives and we can find better ways to do good.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

steve happens

steve happens

(This other) Steve made a Public Service Ad. He wanted it to go back in time, so he had his actor learn the script backwards - he had to say the sounds of the words in reverse! You can watch the raw footage and what it looked like in the (in reverse) final. Scroll down to August 30, 2006
Addendum: I really should put the Youtube video here, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. Anyone who can tell me how to do that, I'd be much obliged.

Blog Comment Fairy

A number of years ago, two middle aged sisters, known as the Parking Fairies, donned pink tutus, tiaras, and wands and danced along downtown Anchorage streets putting money into parking meters just ahead of the police. It was their way of protesting overly strict enforcement and making someone's day a little better.

As I've started blogging and checking out other blogs, and considered how many blogs are out there that hardly ever get a comment, I've taken the parking fairies as my role models, and started making comments as I surf Next Blog. But I only comment on blogs that I like for one reason or another. And I hope people's day is a little brighter when they see someone has been by and left a note - sort of like finding out someone put a quarter in your meter just ahead of the meter reader. Sorry, couldn't find any pictures of the parking fairies on the web - it was either the real thing or nothing.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Shaggy Mane Mushrooms

I know fall is near when the shaggy manes start popping up. But it also means a delicious treat.

I cut them up.

Sauteed some onion and garlic.

Added the mushrooms.

Got them ready to eat.