Friday, February 29, 2008
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Ah, Spring is finally upon us. Can't you feel it in the air?
Today is the Holy Day of Vuzhí, the most loving and wonderful of all the gods and goddesses. Today is the day She is released from Her underworld prison (of being Pétíso's wife). Today is the day She springs forth and begins the rejuvination of our glorious land. Today is the day She spreads the fire of life to all the plants and animals throughout the world.
Yay, Vuzhí! All hail Vuzhí! You're the greatest!
And honestly, this morning's particular flavor of cool, soupy moistness in the air reminded me of summer camp. Honest!
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Sunday, February 24, 2008
We went to East Sooke Regional Park and took a walk to the beach.
It tried to rain on us, but it stopped as soon as we hid under a tree.
I stood on a log.
Chunlin hid under a tree.
The waves came in.
Look, you can see America!
After a lunch of chowder and pad thai in the only non-chain restaurant we could find in Sooke, we headed down to Whiffen Spit for another walk on the beach. The sun had truly come out.
There were quite a few wildlife watchers and photographers, but very few animals. Just a few birds, the most common being the seagull. And a few of these little guys, who I'm not nearly the ornithologist to name.
A bench was nice enough to take this photo for us.
And then we went up the Sooke River to the Sooke Potholes, which are supposed to be a great place for a swim or just a suntan.
Um. . . Not even I would go swimming with *that* much snow around.
If you want more photos from this trip, head on over to flickr.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Slowly but slowly, I'm posting photos from our trip to Victoria three weeks ago.
On our second day there, we drove west of town. Our first stop was Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse.
The view from the fortifications:
Two roads diverged in a field, and we took the one that was exactly the same as the other.
The lighthouse tower was locked. This is a view up through the grating:
Actually, we were there on the day of the yearly maintenance. I considered asking the workers if I could go up for a photo or two, but then I decided I shouldn't impose.
The big rocks of Fisgard Island:
Look out! It's the Canadian Navy!
I've posted more photos at flickr. And I don't think I'm halfway through with the trip yet. . .
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Monday, February 18, 2008
I've started a new blog documenting my travels along Washington's state highways. I plan to drive every single Washington highway, in numerical order. There is no Highway 1, so I must start with 2.
And thus our trip to Spokane this weekend.
Driving is fun!
All hail the mighty Nazhoro, God of Coldness! He's the greatest god because He is lame. Struggle to overcome, He has. And He has! Yay, Nazhoro!
Oddly enough, it's no longer all that cold outside. I think the great god has taken His own holy day off.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
We're in Spokane (Valley), the whole family. We drove here yesterday via US 2. There's been snow on the ground since Skykomish. But at least the roads are bare.
After Waterville, the old Sunset Highway gets a bit boring. Or not, if you're really into flatness covered in snow.
Oddly enough, the only points where Chunlin and Christina were both asleep were through Leavenworth and the approach to Spokane.
Downtown Newport isn't as neat as I thought it would be. Davenport was much nicer.
Today, we shall go play in the snow at Mt. Spokane (um... Spokane Hill) State Park. And then drive back home.
I hope my mother-in-law has fed the cat. . .
Friday, February 15, 2008
According to NASA, Mars once had flowing water on it, but that water was far too salty to have ever supported life. Or at least, it was too salty to support any microbes that we know about.
They found that no known microbes could have survived in the salty and highly acidic waters that once flowed there.
[. . .] But new data from the [O]pportunity rover, which has been wandering the surface of Mars for almost five years, suggests the water that once flowed into the craters and valleys of the planet was far too salty to support most forms of life.
According to NASA, life on Mars would have been very challenging for even the toughest organisms any time over the past four billion years.
From JPL's own article:
Experiments with simulated Martian conditions and computer modeling are helping researchers refine earlier assessments of whether the long-ago conditions in the Meridiani area studied by Opportunity would have been hospitable to microbes. Chances look slimmer. "At first, we focused on acidity, because the environment would have been very acidic," Knoll said. "Now, we also appreciate the high salinity of the water when it left behind the minerals Opportunity found. This tightens the noose on the possibility of life."
So can we go ahead and terraform it now?
Oh, but wait. NASA has more science robots to send first: "The Phoenix lander, on course to reach Mars on May 25, will assess habitability of a shallow subsurface environment of icy soil farther north than any earlier mission has landed."
Are we really going to have to wait until we've researched every last cubic inch of Mars before we start making it fit for human habitation? Too much science! Not enough engineering! C'mon guys. NASA needs to get their priorities realigned.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
My pants will never fall down.
They have triple protection: the zipper, a hook, and a button.
When the button fails, I still have the zipper and the hook. No problem.
If the hook were to fail, I'd still have the zipper and the button.
If the zipper fails, I'd have to be careful, but the pants would stay up, relying on the hook and the button.
What are the odds that all three, or even two, would fail simultaneously? Slim to none.
Add in my belt, and I have quadruple protection.
Now the real question: Why?? Isn't it overkill? I mean, really.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
A very cold breeze up the Gorge. This was two weeks ago Wednesday, our walking day in Victoria.
Before too long, we stopped and bought a scarf for Chunlin.
In Chinatown, there's a narrow public street called Fan Tan Alley.
Yeah, it's narrow.
Here's their gate:
Down by the Inner Harbour sits the Empress Hotel.
And over at the wax museum, they have all of King Henry VII's wives. The old man is in the back. Kinda strange to have them all in one place, don't you think?
Look out! It's a mummy!
Why does the frog have to be the low man on the totem pole? He doesn't look very happy about it, that's for sure.
Across the street from the Legislature Building is a bell tower from the Netherlands. It rings. I heard it.
And up on the hill, a castle built by a man named Dunsmuir, many years ago. He was rich, you see.
After that, we walked back to the hotel. It didn't seem so far on the way out. We got back well after dark.
Want more photos?