Wednesday, November 29, 2006

I think they're just making it up

For the past few hours, weather.com's radar map has shown snow falling in north Seattle. But I look out the window (and walk to lunch and back) and see nary a flake in the air.

The current map shows rain/snow mix for Auburn southward because I guess that's where they think the 32-degree line is. But if it's not snowing here, is it really raining/snowing there? Are they just guessing? I think they're just making it up.

Winter Wonderland

Or maybe it was this song which was floating through my head as I've been walking to and from work lately. . .

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
In the lane, snow is glistening
A beautiful sight
We're happy tonight
Walking in a winter wonderland

Gone away is the bluebird
Here to stay is a new bird
He sings a love song
As we go along
Walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
Then pretend that he is Parson Brown
He'll say, "Are you married?"
We'll say, "No man,
"But you can do the job
"When you're in town."

Later on, we'll conspire
As we dream by the fire
To face unafraid
The plans that we've made
Walking in a winter wonderland

In the meadow we can build a snowman
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with mister snowman
Until the other kids knock him down

When it snows, ain't it thrilling
Though your nose gets a chilling
We'll frolic and play, the Eskimo way
Walking in a winter wonderland.
by Richard B. Smith

Yes, I'm pretty sure I was singing this song aloud as I walked Chunlin home the other day. Except I didn't know all the lyrics. . .

New Orleans, here comes Rice

So Rice is in a bowl game, the New Orleans Bowl, on December 22, playing against Troy State University. I wish they were picked for the Armed Forces Bowl (in Fort Worth), playing against Utah. But that's just because I know about the Utah Utes and don't even know what state Troy is in. Alabama? And what's their mascot, anyway? It better not be Trojans. Or maybe it should be.

In any case, Rice isn't going to gain anything by playing a SunBelt Conference team, even if they are the champions. I wish they had the opportunity to play an SEC team or some such, and show how much better they are than early in the season (when Rice lost by 50 points to Texas and then another 50 points to Florida State).

Well, at least this way, the Rice Owls will be the favorite. And New Orleans is a nicer town to visit than Fort Worth.

But I'm not going. That's too close to the crazy Christmas travel days. I'll just find a television at 5 p.m. PST on Friday, December 22, to plant myself in front of. Hmmm. . . I just might stay at the office. We've got ESPN2 in HD!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Let It Snow!

I've had this song going through my head for a couple days now. . .


Oh the weather outside is frightful
But the fire is so delightful
And since we've no place to go
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

It doesn't show signs of stopping
And I've bought some corn for popping
The lights are turned way down low
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!

When we finally kiss goodnight
How I'll hate going out in the storm
But if you'll really hold me tight
All the way home I'll be warm

The fire is slowly dying
And, my dear, we're still goodbying
But as long as you love me so
Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!
by Sammy Cahn

Monday, November 27, 2006

Hey, it's snowing!

It's not supposed to snow in Seattle. Really. This town just ain't ready for it. I-5 is a parking lot from the convention center north to infinity.

This morning, I drove to work because the roads were bare and I had some errands to run during lunch. My car is still at the office, but I'm not. I walked back home. About five minutes before it started hailing (followed shortly by big snow), I was contemplating going for a run after work. I think my jog/walk to get home will have to do.

Peering outside my window, I can see the moon now. The clouds are thinning out. We're in for a cooooold night.

Seattleites are more polite and friendly when it snows than any other time of year. Strangers say hi and chat with other strangers, discussing their shared troubles. Unless, of course, said stranger is in a car stuck behind someone who's spinning their tires and not proceeding through the green light. Then, they lay on the horn.

I have Christmas music playing and it finally feels appropriate. . . It's a cd that came from my dentist in Houston, who I haven't seen in years. Some songs are good. Others, not so much. The disc doesn't say who's singing any of them, and it's clearly different people for each.

So up 5th Avenue I walk:
02-5th
The cars moved, somewhat. I probably could've driven home safely, but it would've taken longer.

04-LibraryLamp
This was near the new library and community center. Kids were playing in the snow in the field there. This place is starting to feel like an actual neighborhood.

07-NorthgatePedestrians
Let's go shopping!

Hiking up 5th Avenue, I hurried along. My forehead started getting cold. I put my hand to my head and felt a layer of ice. Melted snow, refrozen slush. No wonder my head was cold! And brush that snow out of my hair.

I briefly talked to another walker who left his car at the mall. He wanted to get home in time to watch the Seahawks game. He asked me where a nearby pub was, but I couldn't think of any. Still can't. After I left him behind, he flagged down a passing SUV and hitched a ride. See? Friendly strangers!

12-Roosevelt
This is the driveway of the building just north of mine. No tracks whatsoever for most of it.

All in all, snow is a pain, but fun. And I finally found a reason to be thankful my shoes have a goretex lining. My feet stayed warm and dry!

Now I think I'll make a large snowman on my balcony. . .

Happy Monday.

02-MondayMorningBird

Friday, November 24, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Friday!

Some may call it Black Friday, but that's just not a happy enough name. Plus, I don't plan on going shopping. . .

I went to Seattle's parade this morning. Took some photos, of course.

I didn't get a good one of the Seagals, though. Sorry, Chunlin. Too blurry. . .

But first, a photo from yesterday:
03-Dave

Okay, here's the first band of the parade:
08-ConksBand
I just had to yell "Go Conks!" I got a few cheers in response.

11-ChunlinMark
I need to work on my aim. . .

The Mariners Moose rode around the street on his usual 4-wheeler:
12-MooseAttack!

Some of the few people in skirts:
14-MenInSkirts

Aww. . .
19-SnowmanHug

Right before Santa is. . . Snow Globe Lady!
18-SnowGlobeLady
I wonder if it's warm in there. . .

Look! It's Santa!!!
21-SantaKid

Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Happy Friday!

It's Wednesday-as-Friday Day, one of the longest days of the year. . .

Monday, November 20, 2006

My alma mater is better than your alma mater!

The Rice Owls are bowl eligible! They started the season 0-4 (and 1-5) by playing puff teams like Texas, Florida State, and UCLA. Once they got to the heart of their conference schedule, though, they've won five straight. That loss to Tulane is looking more embarrassing each week.

The last time Rice was bowl eligible (8-4 in 2001), they weren't invited to any bowls. The WAC at that time only had two bowl tie-ins, and Rice was third place in the conference.

This year, Rice is third in the C-USA with one game left to play. Even if they lose, I'd still count them as fourth. At least fifth. And the C-USA has five bowl games.

I hope the bowls don't look at the overall record and pick a team Rice beat (eg Tulsa) because they played teams like North Texas and Stephen F Austin at the beginning of the season. It's not like Tulsa has any more alumni than Rice, either. It's an even smaller school than Rice!

But Houston and Southern Miss are #1 and #2. If SMU beats Rice, they're #3. Even though Rice just beat Eastern Carolina, a bowl might pick ECU over Rice as #4. So then it's Rice, Tulsa, and Marshall (who isn't even bowl eligible yet).

So I'm thinking Rice will play in the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, on December 23 versus TCU. Rice's first bowl game since 1961!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

To Someone Special

Happy Corrugated Cardboard Day

Wishing You Happiness
and Blessings Always

Corrugated Cardboard Day
is a time for thinking of those
who are a special part
of our lives
and have a special place
in our hearts--
that's why
Corrugated Cardboard Day
is a time
for thinking of you.

Love,
Mom

Friday, November 17, 2006

NFL White Home Jerseys

From Wikipedia, the repository of all known facts:

Dallas Cowboys:

The Cowboys were the first NFL team to primarily wear their white jerseys at home, as every other team wore their colored jerseys at home. This tradition started in the 1960s by then-general manager Tex Schramm, who wanted a single look for his team that every fan would see, whether they were playing at home or on the road. He also wanted Cowboys fans to see a variety of opponents' colors at home games. Since then, two other NFL teams, the Dolphins and the Redskins, have adopted the practice of wearing their white jerseys at home.

Throughout the years, the Cowboys' blue jerseys have been popularly viewed to be "jinxed" because they often seem to lose when they wear them. Most of the time, Dallas will wear their blue jerseys when they visit Miami, Washington, or one of the handful of teams such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that traditionally wear their white jerseys at home during the first half of the season due to the hot climates in their respective cities. But on some occasions, opposing teams will purposely wear their white jerseys at home to try and jinx the Cowboys.

The Cowboys have lost the following playoff games when wearing their dark jerseys:

  • Super Bowl V against the Baltimore Colts
  • The 1980 NFC Championship Game versus the Philadelphia Eagles
  • The 1982 NFC Championship Game against Washington
  • A 1996 Divisional playoff game versus the Carolina Panthers
  • A 2003 Wild Card playoff game against Carolina

Washington Redskins:

The tradition of wearing white jerseys at home was started by Joe Gibbs when he took over as coach in 1981. Gibbs was an assistant for the San Diego Chargers in 1979 and 1980, and the Chargers wore white at home during the tenure of coach Don Coryell in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Their burgundy jersey (which is primarily used for when the opposing team decides to wear white at home, which comes mostly against the Dallas Cowboys) consists of burgundy jerseys and white pants. The other combination were burgundy jerseys and gold pants, which were used mostly in the past and for one year in the 2002 season when the Redskins celebrated their 70th anniversary and wore it at home.

Their white jersey consists of three combinations. One is the white jerseys and burgundy pants, which is considered the "classic" look. The other (and lesser known) combination is the white jerseys and gold pants, which was used in the past when they weren't wearing their burgundy jersey. The last combination consists of both white jerseys and pants. That particular combination surfaced in the first game of the 2003 season on a nationally televised game against the New York Jets, which led to many sports fans and Redskin faithful alike to point out that they have never seen that particular combination. That year the Redskins wore it two more times. That look didn't appear again until midway through the 2005 season when the Redskins wore it on a road game against the St. Louis Rams. The Redskins won six games (including one in the playoffs against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wearing that combination) and the local media jokingly pointed out that the reason why the Redskins were winning was because of the white on white combination. In the NFC Divisional Game against the eventual 2005 NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, the Redskins wore the all white jerseys, in hopes that they could keep their luck going; however, they lost 20-10. The Redskins have continued to wear the white jerseys and white pants into the 2006 pre-season. In the 2006 season, the Redskins started wearing black cleats, something that hasn't been done for quite awhile. It was a surprise because they wore white cleats during the preseason. They would have to wear that color for the rest of the season, because the NFL usually asks teams to choose either black or white cleats to be worn throughout the season.

Although the Washington Redskins always wore their white jerseys during home games, there were a couple of exceptions where the Redskins wore their burgundy jerseys. One was during the 2001 season where Marty Schottenheimer had the team wear burgundy, another one during the 2002 season with Steve Spurrier where they celebrated the teams' 70th anniversary, and the last one during the 2003 season where Spurrier had the team wear burgundy in some of the home games.

Miami Dolphins:
Miami is one of the three NFL teams that primarily wear their white jerseys at home (the others being the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins), although they will wear their aqua jerseys during games held at night. Since the 2003 season, the Dolphins have worn an alternate orange jersey twice for home night contests. They are 2-0 in games wearing the alternate jersey (each of which were comebacks against the Washington Redskins in 2003 and against eventual Super Bowl champs and Division-rivals the New England Patriots in 2004). They did not wear the orange jerseys in the 2005 season because they had no night games.

In 2005, new coach Nick Saban did not have the Dolphins wear the aqua pants with the white jerseys, instead opting for the all-white outfit. Prior to Saban's arrival, the Dolphins traditionally wore all-white at home and aqua pants with white jerseys on the road under former coach Dave Wannstedt.

On two occasions, the Dolphins have worn an all-aqua combination for prime-time games, defeating the Chicago Bears in 2002 and the Cleveland Browns in 2004.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Where My Mind Has Been

Chunlin
Reorganizing college sports conferences
New Zealand vacation
Food
Work
Health and exercise
World news and politics
Writing novels
The Amazing Race
Christmas gifts
Maintaining my various calendars
Learning Chinese
Photos
Survivor
Cleaning my condo
Professional development
Blog

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

NCAA Football Reformation

Lest you think I cared more for basketball than football, here are the six top-tier college football conferences, taking the top nine of each region from the rankings as of last weekend:

West:
California
Southern California
Boise State
Oregon
Oregon State
Washington State
Arizona State
Brigham Young
Washington

Central:
Arkansas
Louisiana State
Texas
Oklahoma
Texas A&M
Nebraska
Missouri
Tulsa
Texas Christian

Midwest:
Michigan
Ohio State
Notre Dame
Wisconsin
Iowa
Purdue
Minnesota
Cincinnati
Central Michigan

Southeast:
Louisville
Florida
Auburn
Tennessee
Georgia Tech
Kentucky
Georgia
Alabama
Florida State

East:
West Virginia
Wake Forest
Maryland
Virginia Tech
Clemson
Navy
South Carolina
East Carolina
North Carolina State

Northeast:
Rutgers
Boston College
Pennsylvania State
Pittsburgh
Massachusetts
Connecticut
Syracuse
Harvard
Yale

(I know, I know. Ivy League teams? The Northeast is just weak, that's all. Weak!)

And because I care, here are the second-tier conferences for the important regions:

Pacific:
California-Los Angeles
Arizona
Montana
Hawaii
San Jose State
North Dakota
Nevada
North Dakota State
Air Force

Great Plains:
Houston
Kansas State
Oklahoma State
Northwest Missouri
Texas Tech
Nebraska-Omaha
Louisiana-Lafayette
Rice
Baylor

Great Lakes:
Ohio
Indiana
Western Michigan
Michigan State
Youngstown
Illinois State
Northern Illinois
Illinois
Northwestern

And, just for fun, here are the two third-tier conferences from the West Region:

Northwest:
Wyoming
Portland State
Idaho
South Dakota
South Dakota State
Montana State
Colorado State
Central Washington
Colorado

Southwest:
Utah
New Mexico
California Polytechnic-San Luis Obispo
San Diego
Stanford
Fresno State
California-Davis
San Diego State
Northern Arizona

If things ended as they now stand, Utah and Wyoming would go up to the second-tier Pacific Conference and Colorado and Northern Arizona would drop to the fourth tier. Taking their places would be North Dakota State from the second-tier Pacific Conference and Augustana (South Dakota) from the fourth tier, both going into the Northwest Conference; and Air Force from the second-tier Pacific Conference and Sacramento State from the fourth tier, both going into the Southwest Conference.

The state of Colorado would thus have two colleges in the third tier (Air Force and Colorado State), but in different conferences. But that sounds better than putting Portland State in the Southwest with California colleges and New Mexico.

Oh, and Washington would drop down the second-tier Pacific Conference, to be replaced by UCLA. But there's still a chance to stay in the top tier for the Huskies. Win some games! Go Dawgs!

NCAA Basketball Reformation

I was thinking (oh no!) about the NCAA again. Basketball is starting soon, and poor little Nevada doesn't have any high-caliber teams in their conference. And neither does Gonzaga. Or Memphis. Or other teams in other conferences that I don't really know much about.

So here are the six top-tier men's basketball conferences, taking the top nine in each region from last year's final rankings:

West:
Gonzaga
California-Los Angeles
Nevada
Washington
Arizona
California
Air Force
San Diego State
Utah State

Central:
Texas
Kansas
Arkansas
Louisiana State
Oklahoma
Wichita State
Texas A&M
Missouri State
Creighton

Midwest:
Ohio State
Illinois
Iowa
Michigan State
Indiana
Marquette
Northern Iowa
Wisconsin
Bradley

Southeast:
Memphis
Florida
Tennessee
Kentucky
Alabama-Birmingham
Florida State
Alabama
Louisville
Vanderbilt

East:
Duke
North Carolina
Georgetown
George Washington
West Virginia
North Carolina State
George Mason
North Carolina-Wilmington
Maryland

Northeast:
Connecticut
Villanova
Pittsburgh
Boston College
Syracuse
Bucknell
Seton Hall
Hofstra
Iona

Now, wouldn't that feel better?

An Open Letter to Rana, Goddess of Clouds


Rana, I know it's Your holy day and all that, so it makes perfect sense for You to be overhead, completely and utterly. But do You really have to bring Hívuítoví with You today? Can't You for once go somewhere without Her? I know You can. I've seen You do it. So just try. Once. Today. Please. Thank You.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Blog Post #867

I finished going through my old posts and adding index labels to them.

So now it shall be easy-peasy for you to browse every post I ever did write, sorted by topic.

If you so desire.

There's some good stuff in there. (So says present me speaking highly of past me.) You should read it again.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

How old is that, really?

Today's the 5078th birthday of Methuselah, the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of Adam, the first human. Or, at least, as near as I can figure it, using the time-honored traditions of biblical teachings and random-number generators.

Methuselah has been dead now for 4109 years, but that's no reason not to honor the old guy. He lived a really, really long time. He out-lived his son, Lamech, by five years and died the year of the Great Flood. The Bible doesn't say, but I've always wondered if Methuselah drowned or if he died of natural causes before God killed most everybody. Can you picture Noah saying, "Sorry, Gramps, but the Great Almighty didn't say anything about bringing you aboard. Bye!"

Actually, the fact that Methuselah out-lived his son isn't as impressive as the tale that he had a son when aged 187!

I should move to Pasco.

Franklin County is the only place in the state where the majority voted the same as I did on all the statewide votes. Yakima and Benton counties voted the same as me on all but the Owens/Johnson judicial race, so maybe I could live there, too.

But definitely Tri-Cities or Yakima.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

We're all gonna die!!

Does anybody remember all those hurricanes we had this year? I know the season officially doesn't end till November 30 and last year we had storms form in December, but let's take a look at the comparison between predictions and reality.

From Wikipedia:

Average # of named storms: 9.6
Average # of hurricanes: 5.9
Average # of major hurricanes: 2.3

Predicted # of named storms: 17
Predicted # of hurricanes: 9
Predicted # of major hurricanes: 5

Actual # of named storms: 9
Actual # of hurricanes: 5
Actual # of major hurricanes: 2

So, um. . . Back to the average. The world is not ending.

Global Warming Data

Here's why I don't trust scientists: They're human and have agendas and are willing to bend the truth to fit their agenda.

There's an article in the Sunday Telegraph describing just how the scientists and bureaucrats of the UN massacred the global warming data to create a global panic.

You probably are familiar with the hockey-stick graph of worldwide temperatures, where the temperature goes up and down, more or less level, then abruptly shoots up in the twentieth century.



The top graph is from the UN's report of 2001. The bottom graph is from the UN's report of 1996. Notice anything different? Well, here's how they got from one to the other:

• They gave one technique for reconstructing pre-thermometer temperature 390 times more weight than any other (but didn't say so).

• The technique they overweighted was one which the UN's 1996 report had said was unsafe: measurement of tree-rings from bristlecone pines. Tree-rings are wider in warmer years, but pine-rings are also wider when there's more carbon dioxide in the air: it's plant food. This carbon dioxide fertilisation distorts the calculations.

• They said they had included 24 data sets going back to 1400. Without saying so, they left out the set showing the medieval warm period, tucking it into a folder marked "Censored Data".

• They used a computer model to draw the graph from the data, but scientists later found that the model almost always drew hockey-sticks even if they fed in random, electronic "red noise".

That all sounds scientifically honest, now doesn't it?

There's more. The sun heats and cools in cycles. It's currently in a very hot period. I won't bore you with the numbers (they're in the link), but here's a summation: "The entire 20th-century warming from all sources was below 2 watts. The sun could have caused just about all of it."

And they've also messed with the laws of thermodynamics. Has anyone heard of the Stefan-Boltzmann law? Well, apparently there's a little lambda in that equation that equals hc/ukT. A simple version of the equation is E=(sigma)T^4. The lambda is partially in the sigma, I guess. In any case, T is temperature. If you know the temperature and size of a body, you know how much it's radiating, and lambda to boot.

(In case you cared, Boltzmann is the Austrian who committed suicide because nobody believed him when he said that atoms existed.)

So the centuries-old method of calculating lambda gives you 0.2-0.3 deg C/watt. Guess what the UN's computer models use? 1.0 deg C/watt. Why? Because it fits their agenda better. Some "scientists" have used 1.9 deg C/watt just to scare you better.

And here are the concluding lines from the article, just because I can't say them better:

Removing the UN's solecisms, and using reasonable data and assumptions, a simple global model shows that temperature will rise by just 0.1 to 1.4C in the coming century, with a best estimate of 0.6C, well within the medieval temperature range and only a fifth of the UN's new, central projection.

Why haven't air or sea temperatures turned out as the UN's models predicted? Because the science is bad, the "consensus" is wrong, and Herr Professor Ludwig Boltzmann, FRS, was as right about energy-to-temperature as he was about atoms.

And no matter how much power we give to the UN and how much we destroy our economy with crippling regulations, we are not going to reverse the trends of nature.

Fortune Cookies

Fortune cookies only give actual fortune predictions half the time. The rest of the time, it's just sayings or instructions. In any case, here are some that I've collected over the past year:

Your confidence will
lead you to success.

There will always be
delightful mysteries
in your life.

A tantalizing new prospect
will come your way.

An unexpected windfall
will be yours.

Put up with small
annoyances to gain
great results.

Make those special talents
you have work like a charm.

Be innovative. Take
charge of new ideas.

Learn to broaden
your horizons, day by day.

D'ja vote?

I voted this morning. More people than usual, even for a November election. Maybe they don't trust mail-in voting anymore. Or maybe it's just a coincidence.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Vote Tomorrow!

And go to the polls. Don't do the vote-by-mail thing. You want to be sure your vote is counted, don't you?

In case you're too lazy to decide how to vote on every race and issue, here are links to how I'll be voting tomorrow morning:

Washington
Seattle

I've never thought that ballots should be secret. If you don't have the strength of your convictions to speak your mind, maybe you shouldn't be voting.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Eat Something!

Hey, y'all! Having a good weekend?

Just stopping by to remind you to eat something. 'Tis the Holy Day of Nokí, after all!

Mangi! Mangi!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Butterfly Leaves

Leaves outside my window, dancing on the breeze. Like butterflies, they swoop and swirl. Small, orange, alive yet dead. One last chaotic motion by the symbols of the coming winter. The only color in a world of gray.

And now they're gone.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

That'sh Jusht the Way It Izh

Shometimezh I wonder. . .

My name izh Shotoshoroto!

Nothing to shee here. Move along, move along.

Shorry! We have a shortage of witty shayingsh thish afternoon. . .

I'm feeling a bit shilly.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Some Photos from My Past

My dad sent me some hiking photos of me, through the years.

So I'll post them for all to see.

Most of them, at least.




The first two are from my second backpacking trip, when I was almost six years old. The trail to Annette Lake has been much improved since then.


A few years later, another backpacking trip. This time to Big Heart Lake. This photo is at Copper Lake, though, on the way to Big Heart.


Don't ask.


I don't remember my backpack being that big. . .


I'm fifteen in this picture. I'm an old hand at backpacking by now. This is the Seven Lakes Basin in the Olympics.


Skip a few years and I'm suddenly quite a bit older. This is atop Mt St Helens. I should climb it again to get a look at the new lava dome.


This is just old Mt Si, but I still found a little cliff to perch upon. I like perching on high places.

Chocolate

70% cocoa is the best, I say. 80% cocoa is too bitter. Hershey's Special Dark is probably only 55% or something like that, and that's not good enough.

But I can heartily recommend Lindt Excellence Dark Chocolate. Thanks, Chunlin! Yum yum!