blivet

I hope all the Americans had a good Memorial Day weekend and fostered some recognition of why we do this to our children. I was a little surprised at how many people (adults) I knew asked about the red poppy on my shirt that I got for contributing to the Veterans today.

OK, I’ll tone down the Manila Express entries. Its just too easy to add links this way! I miss the of bit extra thinking that takes place with multiple cutting and pasting … I’ll adjust.

John at Curmudgeon contributes his personal experience with The Lessons of a Lost Career. “College administrations do not always have academics as their first priority. (A bit tangential, but …)” and of course, that is where it gets interesting.

[have browser] Jim Roepcke is having major problems with his wisdom teeth. I’d watch out for that lower right one too! Ow! Been through that, more on the way elsewhere in the mouth.

[CNN] Rare Mars meteorite discovered in Middle East (a couple of days old but new to me)

A meteorite hunter combing the deserts of Oman found a stone thought to have originated on Mars. Of the 20,000 known meteorite discoveries, the brownish gray stone is only the 15th identified as coming from the red planet, scientists said this week. <…> The rock has chemical similarities to a Mars meteorite found in Antarctica in 1984, which some NASA researchers said exhibits fossilized signs of microscopic life.

more [CNN] Rocker Eddie Van Halen receiving cancer treatment Apparently its an experimental preventative treatment for cancer of the tongue. Man! Another guy my age battling the big C.

David Anderson at Montana News Daily writes: "James V. Smith, the editor of the Shelby Promoter, has written a fine reflection on Memorial Day. Lots of good stuff in this piece. Here’s a teaser:

We disdain reflection in others and fear it in ourselves.

We pack our lives with ferocious activity as if that will somehow give worth to living. In fact, what do we say about somebody not being busy? That he is wasting his life away.

But do not equate activity with achievement, nor reflection with idling and most importantly, do not fail to reflect on Memorial Day.”

They Write the Right Stuff: The right stuff kicks in at T-minus 31 seconds.

At T-minus 6.6 seconds, if the pressures, pumps, and temperatures are nominal, the computers give the order to light the shuttle main engines — each of the three engines firing off precisely 160 milliseconds apart, tons of super-cooled liquid fuel pouring into combustion chambers, the ship rocking on its launch pad, held to the ground only by bolts. As the main engines come to one million pounds of thrust, their exhausts tighten into blue diamonds of flame.

Then and only then at T-minus zero seconds, if the computers are satisfied that the engines are running true, they give the order to light the solid rocket boosters. In less than one second, they achieve 6.6 million pounds of thrust. And at that exact same moment, the computers give the order for the explosive bolts to blow, and 4.5 million pounds of spacecraft lifts majestically off its launch pad.

It’s an awesome display of hardware prowess. But no human pushes a button to make it happen, no astronaut jockeys a joy stick to settle the shuttle into orbit. <…> What makes it remarkable is how well the software works. This software never crashes. It never needs to be re-booted. This software is bug-free. It is perfect, as perfect as human beings have achieved. Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program — each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.

The space program has always been a part of my life. I stayed home from school in the first grade to watch John Glenn fly the Friendship 7. I stayed up for three days in the middle of July 1969. I wept for several hours and was depressed for days after the Challenger disaster. These folks who write the software for the Shuttle are fantastic purveyors of their craft. One error. Wow. For whatever reason it reminds me of an interview I read once with Reinhold Messner. He was a high altitude climber who did his climbing solo. He soloed Everest, Denali, and a number of peaks in the Hindu Kush, as well as a lot of ice climbing (waterfalls in the winter, that sort of thing). He was asked if he made mistakes climbing solo in these extreme conditions and he replied: "I don’t think so, You only get to make one."

[Book Notes] A Happy 25th Anniversary to the Jensen’s!

[Book Notes] “I’m reading A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller, Jr. I mentioned it last Friday as a title I was adding the Books as Characters project.” What a fantastic book! As a Science Fiction reader, I love that book. As an archaeologist I love it even more, not only as a reminder that the past (in this case the book’s far past is our present) should be spoken of with care, but that we can never fully imagine what ir was like then … Or as Anne McCaffery wrote in the Dragonrider series – somewhen.

[Metafilter]

Jeremy’s CyberCafe and Beer Haus is up for sale, but what’s really cool about it is that it is located just outside of Joshua Tree National Park in the Southern California desert, and they have a full T-1 line that they’re selling along with the business. Hmm…T-1 access plus nearby national park? Maybe we should take up a collection and buy it ourselves? 🙂

I couldn’t agree more! I’ve given some thought to doing CRM archaeology based out of Joshua Tree but the nagging question is “is there enough work there and in the vicinity?” Still, … a cybercafé in the Mojave desert!

I just posted that with Manila Express – This is very cool. Thanks!

[Manila Express] Earlier today Brent released Manila Express for the Macintosh. Manila Express makes it easy to add links to the home page of a Manila site (like this one) without having to go there. Brent has written a How I Did It piece to help us get set up.

Dave notes that Themes are in the pipeline, also largely due to Brent’s efforts.

Al at View From the Heart used a term in his weblog this morning that is new (to me at least) and is so self-evident I don’t understand why its not more widely used in the lexicon. EditThisPage friends. Yep…

blivet 5/20/2000

Thanks to David Anderson who does the ETP site Montana News Daily for pointing out this parody movie poster the Las Vegas Review Journal proposed concerning the Ted Binion trial. David scooped me in my own town. Digital illustration by Ched Whitney.

Following Sandra Murphy and Rick Tabish's convictions in the Ted Binion murder case, The Las Vegas Review-Journal posted this parody.

The original is here. Digital illustration by Ched Whitney.

[Science] It turns out that Jupiter’s moon Io is home to volcanoes, vast mountain ranges, lava lakes, and 50 mile high sulfuric geysers. (!) The Galileo spacecraft provided the photographs and thermal measurements. The NASA press release has more detail, as well as links to Galileo’s May 18th images. The full Science article requires a subscription or fee, but the CNN story is just a click away. Some of the best student dollars I’ve ever spent have been for the journal Science. I would like to get Nature too, but have never gotten around to it.

garret is out doing yard work and gnawing (pronounced with a hard G as in guh-naw) on javascript (why guh-naw you ask? I have no idea, I just like the way it sounds in my mind’s er … ear) …

Al muses about a mentor he had early in his nursing career. A good mentor makes all the difference. I think those of us that have had good ones are left with an aching need to be one to someone else. Ultimately, thats how you pay the favor back.

While out shopping, I saw some bio-feedback machines at The Sharper Image. I think the best bio-feedback technique is A) get cat on lap, B) pet cat until loud rumbling purr ensues, 3) repeat until stress dissipates or arm falls off, whichever comes first as cat will seldom terminate petting session voluntarily. I know I should say "sit zazen", but that could take a while until you get results whereas The Cat-Petting Sutra is for everyone.

Car work and additional shopping for a month in the field and someone’s birthday tomorrow. We have a 1991 Daihatsu Rocky, its about the same size as Suzuki Sidekick. It was rated the 4WD of the year in 1991, so of course they stopped importing them in 1992. Parts are starting to get really hard to find. So the dilemma about vehicles begins its annual uncoiling into our lives. That’s in addition to the house dilemma, jobs dilemma, children dilemma. I want to get some sort of Ubër-Archaemobile, the sort of vehicle that leaves puddles of testosterone under it when parked overnight. But I hate the whole idea of the amount of pollution they spew, the yuppiefied association of 4WD & SUVs, the sheer amount they cost to feed and maintain, and the fact that you lose 30% of the value when you drive them off the car lot. Since someone reads this weblog I ain’t gonna say anything about no birthday gifts. Update: The Rocky passed its smog test with flying colors. Dilemma deferred, for a bit.

Today started out with breakfast with Alexis and Thure. Alexis used to work with Audrey doing GIS at the Yucca Mountain Project and Thure is an artist. He also has the Great Basin Seed Company where you can get Mojave Desert and Great Basin native plant seeds. These plants are almost impossible to find, either in commercial nurseries or as seeds. You won’t be surprised to hear that they have the most incredible back yard. Plus, they’re darn good people. Alexis surprised Audrey with a birthday gift a day early.

blivet 5/12/2000

I spent a big hunk of the evening with some Archae buds. We hadn’t touched base with each other in a couple of weeks. The discussion was far-ranging and comfortable — knowing you’re accepted – that it’s not conditional. I told them about the events in our webworld, of fires and graphics and community, and a place to call your own inside this magic box with a wire attached to it. It really didn’t interest them but they knew it did me so they listened attentively. We also talked about catching fireflies as kids, watching storms build on the high plains, John Hartford and steamboats, and how we didn’t know what we would do if we couldn’t do archaeology. We listened to Patsy Cline and The Clash, Santana and Louie Prima. We are all so rich, all of us. Whether we have met or not.

I pleasantly browsed my friends weblogs. 🙂 The effect is strangely calming, strange only because it is people I don’t know face to face. It was that way back on Genie and CompuServe as well, with disembodied friends. Back in the pre-Internet days.

I’ve been remiss in reading many of the weblogs I usually frequent, I miss contact with these people like I miss contact with friends here in town. Among them are View From The Heart, array, Hack the Planet Prime, A Curmudgeon teaches Statistics, backup brain. Others I can’t remember the URLs for and so can’t list right now <DOH!> Tonight. I promise my friends, tonight. Right now I have an appointment with my cushion …

Thanks to Al over at View From The Heart for the kind mentions – please bear in mind that anyone who quotes The Mahabarata and Babylon 5 is probably just soft in the head … nice zeldman icon though, I hadn’t noticed that one. Hmm, Zenarchy

[MacWeek] Corel kills WordPerfect for the Mac. In a move that stuns no one, Corel (finally) officially kills what was once the best general purpose Macintosh word processor. Of course that was four years and two owners ago, in internet years that’s when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

It’s strangely calm in the desert this morning. I overslept, which seems to happen after we get wind. My sinuses react from the dust and I just feel thick, both mentally and physically. Today is the last day to prepare for Monday’s celebrity fest and the kickoff for Archae Week is this Sunday. Much to do today and I lost my usual hour and a half of reflection before things get going. Everything is just as it should be. It always is… its just a matter of seeing it that way. I must go. Have a good day wherever you are. I’ll post later.

blivet 4/5/2000

[Thanks!] David Anderson who does MontanaNewsDaily in this neck of the woods gave blivet a mention back on the 31st of March. Thanks David!

[Internet World] Apple’s QuickTime 4.1.1 is available by using use your QuickTime Updater if it is installed or download the full installer. Its worth noting that it will replace the new Sound Manager extension just installed by OS 9.0.4, so save a copy before you update. Apple also announced that Darwin 1.0, the BSD open source underpinnings of OS X, is available for download. update: I did just that when I got home and noticed that the version installed via Quick Time has a higher version number than the one installed with the 9.0.4 updater. Now I’m really confused.

[Adobe] Adobe recently announced their Create a PDF Online fee based service, which allows you to create PDF files over the Web.

[Space Science.Com] Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, and the waxing crescent Moon will near convergence in an area of the sky 9 degrees across. Tomorrow!

[Farewell to Mozilla] Netscape 6 Preview Release 1 is available.

[Mad Science Research Labs] Apple’s wireless Airport base station for 802.11 ethernet can be upgraded to 128-bit RC4 encryption. They’ve got pictures of how to do it, it costs about $300US over the base price of the Airport unit. Just because you don’t think they’re listening doesn’t mean they aren’t. Link from slashdot.

Hmm, weblogs.com isn’t showing blivet as being updated.

blivet 2000/03/27/ Goodbye to Burnt Rock

[Mac] Internet Explorer 5.0 is out. Version Tracker will have the most current URLs for downloading. I downloaded it, but probably won’t have a chance to have a look until this weekend. I haven’t even got to play with Photoshop 5.5 yet.

[Burnt Rock after work]
It is strangely saddening to see lots of soil going back into our trenches at Burnt Rock. I’ve grown attached to this piece of Mojave Desert and feel somewhat paternal towards it, I want whoever lives there to know what is below them. I want them to feel proud to have this spring below their home. Tomorrow is the last test pit (#14), the last chance to take yet another sample, the last chance to get whatever piece of information we’ve neglected to. This is the first hunk of the Mojave I’ve felt really connected to. Time for a little detachment methinks.

I’ll take Wednesday as comp time and then dive into some profiles for the Little Spring House at the Preserve.

[Salon] Keep a Web journal, get fired.. or worse. I don’t think I’ll get that kind of response from my workplace.

[Burnt Rock before work] Today is the last day for fieldwork at Burnt Rock Mound. <sigh> At times its been tiring, more of the time it has been exhilarating, the whole time it has been interesting. It has also been interesting how the community, both of professional archaeologists and the citizens of the Las Vegas Valley have been interested. I wore my Las Vegas Springs Preserve ball cap to CompUSA yesterday when I went to get the update to the Mac version of Photoshop 5.5 (I didn’t want to try to get my hair under control). The Apple salesperson stopped me to ask about Burnt Rock and the Preserve. “You’re the guy in the trench, right?” We’re on the community radar. Cooool

Careening towards Ostara

Dave at Scripting News has been talking a lot about the whole patent debacle and I have to say, I couldn’t agree with him more. Again. The is also a strong undercurrent of Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia in the last several days. Dave characterizes himself as “a hippie writing software” I’m a hippie doing science, I’ve know that for a long time. “To me, being a hippie means having a mind and a heart, and remembering to dance when you get the chance.” -Dave on Scripting News. Right on! Absolutely!

So Dave, if you read this, know that there are a lot of non-software people that are still tech heads of a mildly different stripe out there who read and agree. It may not appear that we’re doing similar or compatible things, but I think we are. We’re both following our path with heart, trying to find that balance between head and soul with a lot of people saying either ‘its not going to be that way’ or ‘you can’t do that’. And frankly, I miss Jerry too. A lot. I will survive.

I’m gonna be late, gotta go to …

[Burnt Rock Mound] Today is a day with soil expert Doug Merkler. This is a chance to fill in some gaps in knowledge and technique, a fun day. I’ve been looking forward to this one for some time.

It seems appropriate as we near the Spring Equinox to be deep in the earth, covered with it in fact, as the traditional growing season begins. The Spiral Dance continues as we circle toward the center, passing through the cycle again, arriving at the same place in the circle but farther in the spiral heading towards the center where all things are known.

blivet 2000/03/01

[CNN/ENN] Little ice age holds big climate clues. "Now that we have documented a quick climate change in the past, there is no reason not to believe it can occur in the future," said Paul Schuster, a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Boulder, Colorado.

Previous climate data revealed that a centuries-long cold snap ˜ the little ice age ˜ ended in the mid-1800s. But scientists had not documented how quickly the cold spell ended. This research is reported in the Feb. 27 Journal of Geophysical Research..

Up early, hard to stay sleeping when the cat keeps walking on your head. I love that cat. Except when…

[Warp Core] A Week of Revelations and Awareness I really enjoy reading John’s writings. I probably flatter myself, but I like to think that we’d get along well and have good conversations.

I was reminded of how little time we really have here on this planet to make a difference … I was reminded of responsibility … I was reminded of real, physical talent and its joys … I was reminded of real, physical talent and its joys.I was reminded of real, physical talent and its joys … I was reminded that what one group of minds can conceive of, another group can duplicate, extend, or completely replace in the market place … I was reminded that anything we can dream, we can do … I am reminded about my relationship to the planet and how the mutual synergy between us fuels my creative spirit.

[WebFaust] Money, Blood, and Dust by John H. Farr. "How many buffalo could you kill without spooking the herd? That’s a gross oversimplification, but still one of the images that comes to mind when I read about the massive wealth generated by Internet entrepreneurs." Good stuff about giving back to the community, especially if you’ve received bazillions from it.

blivet

No external links today, what little there is, is all about me. Please feel free to browse through the calendar to the right for past blivets (blivi?). Thanks to Dori at Backup Brain for the reciprocal link. We’ll resume what passes for a weblog Saturday. I haven’t even made more than a cursory tour of the sites I frequent for several days.

Today was a day of false starts and feeling out of step. It started with this cold (OK, cold for Las Vegas) morning. It had snowed waaay downslope on the flanks of the Spring Mountains to the East and the Sheep and Las Vegas Range to the north. The snow was heavy enough that no rocks were visible in the distance so the slopes were absolutely blazing white. It was stunningly beautiful!

We’re working at the north edge of the urbanization in the trash halo oozing steadily outward so there were no buildings between us and those amazing white mountains. The only drawback was that there was a gusting wind of maybe 35 mph coming off those cold slopes and it had that sharp bite that just makes you want to jump back in the truck. Standing on top of that spring mound you just felt like you were wet and naked in that wind. Perfect conditions to walk very slowly, hunched over looking at the ground. Everybody has been fighting (and succumbing!) to various respiratory ailments all winter and this felt like one of those situations your mother warned you about. ("Don’t stand out there in the wind!")

Greg, our fearless liter (archaeology is science and science is metric after all), has been the sickest and I think he was feeling the brunt of the weather – though I didn’t admit until later how bad I felt. So Greg, if you’re reading this, now you know. He called the day after about an hour (one transect) and we rolled up the tapes and piled back into the Suburban without hesitation or complaint. I couldn’t hear out of my left ear until about 3 pm whereupon it rang for about 20 minutes until returning to normal. It just made me feel so disassociated, I could so empathize with those with a hearing loss.

That got me pondering the aging process and the inevitable decline of talents and abilities I now take for granted. Boy, that makes the monkey mind dance around! La, la, la, la, la, la, la. I can’t hear you! We are so attached to these bodies we inhabit, we think that they are us. That kind of attachment leads to so much suffering. We even go to doctors to have how we look changed thinking we’re improving ourselves. How short-sighted we can be if we let the Ego drive the bus. There is so little incentive in American culture to consider otherwise.

Right now, there is so much incentive to go to bed.

Be well.

A little bit later: I take that back, what I said about no external links today. John Martello has posted Mister Wizard: Meet The Internet, a new Utopia Planitia.

blivet

There are so many cool things happening here at EditThisPage and at UserLand. I wish I wasn’t in the field so I could play with them.

Dori Smith at Backup Brain: "Given a choice, I prefer Catma 2000 over Dogma 2000." After a day outside getting cold, wet, and … immature, this made me laugh out loud. Especially after all the talk about how wonderful webloggers are and how much of a community we all are, except for those weblogs over there. Its so true!

blivet

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Jack Dykinga has teamed up with naturalist and writer Janice Emily Bowers to tell the story of the smallest U.S. desert in their new book, Desert: The Mojave and Death Valley. From CNN Book News This is one of the most beautiful places in the world. Yes, I’m biased

BBC News, and others are reporting that EMI and Warner Music are planning a merger. Soon there will be no more little guys anywhere

There is a new Alertbox Saying No: How to Handle Missing Features

John Anderson talks about his fear of dentists over at genehack. I share this phobia. Dentists terrify me! As a result I have a third-world mouth.

I saw this at BradLands – The Movie Review Query Engine

Incompetent people have no clue that they are. What is more interesting to me is that extremely competent people tend to believe that more people are competent than really are. This could explain a lot of things.

It was great seeing Karl again. After the initial awkwardness, we settled back into the banter of old friends. Time is just a comma in the sentence.

In another moment from the past, Terry called last night. He moved back to Idaho 10 years ago and we haven’t spoken for a couple of years. Lots of difficulties in Terry-Land. We talked for about four hours. He had a lot to pass along so I did more listening than talking. I love him like a brother. There’s nothing I can do for him except be his friend. Perhaps that is enough, he certainly didn’t ask for advice or “help”, but it still feels like its not enough.