Saturday, January 10, 2015

The Dangerous Machine And Other Distractions

I'm trying to be faithful to my blog, and I have a list of unfinished posts, but I also have other distractions in my life.  As we left Seattle I stopped to empty my pockets right before going through security next to the "Dangerous Machine" credited to Cappy Thompson, Dick Weiss, and James Lobb of Pottery Northwest.
Dangerous Machine - Cappy Thompson, Dick Weiss, James Lobb 
Cappy Thompson created the stained glass window at the south end of Seatac and Dick Weiss has a big one at the north end.

Which leads to another project - organizing my photos so I can find old ones, because somewhere I have a picture of the north stained glass window.  Can you tell I liked the dangerous machine?  It enlarges a little bit if you click on it.  And I still have to learn photoshop's tricks for getting rid of the reflected lights.  The tips I've read are fairly tedious and time consuming.  The best one is use a polarized filter when you take the picture - but that's not an option (to my knowledge) with my Powershot.  I did play a little with the background.

Other Distractions

I'm preparing to teach the capstone class for the public administration MPA this spring.  It's the class where the students find organizations in the community who could use them on some sort of organizational/management analysis project that will allow them to apply the things they've learned in all their other classes.

I'm going through last year's blog posts to see if there is anything good enough to submit to the Alaska Press Club's contest.  Last year's submissions got lost and they sent me my application fee back.  I had good stuff in 2013 - I was still finishing up the redistricting board and I'd covered the Kulluk press conferences.  2014 doesn't have anything quite that substantial.

from the book
And I'm working on a book for my granddaughter's 2nd birthday.  That still has a ways to go and the birthday is coming up soon.

Today I was at the Citizens Climate Lobby meeting and we heard from Shell Oil's climate change advisor, David Hone, who called in from London. (Here's a link to his blog.)  He basically said that Shell knows that climate change is an issue facing earth and is already factoring in a carbon fee into their financial planning.  He said they know there will be action to limit carbon and they prefer a straightforward fee or a cap and trade (their preference) approach to regulation.  These approaches, he claimed, would be equitable for all carbon producers.  (I'm still thinking about that, since one of the maxims I've picked up in my life is that every change has winners and losers.  Is his claim limited enough so that 'carbon producers' would be the 'losers' and the winners would be in other sectors?  Still thinking that through.)  I felt good because the momentum for a carbon fee has grown hugely since I joined CCL a few years ago and CCL has been a key player in changing the political climate for a carbon fee.  One of the stats that I heard that struck me was that CCL local chapters now cover - and I can't find the exact number in my notes - 80 or 90 percent of congressional districts.  That's a key number because the whole strategy of CCL is to have members of congress lobbied by their own constituents.

There had been some protests, we were told on the conference call, to having the Shell guy there.  But the response was that we have to be willing to talk to everyone as human to human if we're going to get things done.  He's message, to a degree, overlaps ours.  But I also blogged the Kulluk fiasco last year and I know that the Shell spokespersons told us as little as they thought they could get away with and in some cases outright lied - such as whether they left Dutch Harbor when they did to avoid paying a tax.

Then I caught a ride over to the library to pick up a book I had on hold (No Land's Man by Aasif Mandvi).  Anchorage legislators were holding a community meeting in the Assembly chambers so I stuck my head in and listened to a teacher talk about the new teacher evaluation system ASD is using after opting out of No Child Left Behind.  She was an award winning teacher who got very emotional as she explained that the new system made it impossible for a teacher to be rated highly.  But she didn't go into enough detail for me, so I followed her out and asked her for more detail.  I've got that on video and so that makes one more post in my line up of unfinished posts.

And then I enjoyed the warm (for Anchorage) 38˚F (according to a bank message board) sunny weather as I walked home.


  1. I thought I put up a link to a Powershot filter adapter?

    1. You did, but it seems that Powershots come in small point and shoots (what I have) and larger models that your filter link would be good for.

  2. What is the model number of your powershot?


    1. even better, magnetic mounts.

    2. Those are cool fixes. The lens on mine is smaller, and wouldn't be as good fix but I like the idea. I've even held a filer in front of the camera on occasion. I'm even more impressed that you've managed to embed a video into the comments. I didn't know blogspot allowed that, but it makes sense.

    3. All I ever do is paste links, the link I pasted must have been for the embed.

      I thought it was just going to be another link. I was as surprised as you were.


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