Saturday, September 29, 2007

ZeFrank talks Scrabble

I come from a Scrabblephilic family. However, it wasn't played as intensely until I left home. I shudder to think what would happen to me should I play with Mother and The Man now. Ouch.

Enjoy ZeFrank,

Bp

Friday, September 28, 2007

Mars Rover reaches Crater Sweet Spot

Double entendres for the win.

Oh, and here's the article.


Enjoy your sensual universe,

Bp

Watching, and keeping files on, what we read

Anyone who is watching civil liberties offenses in the U.S. knows the government is concerned, and watching, what people read. What I found telling in This Wired News Article was not that they are using reading material to profile people (big deal -- a bit of salt in the wound is all), but they're keeping the files -- for years (read: ad infinitum). THAT is a big deal -- developing portfolios using various sources of information, from airport security checkpoints to border crossings. That's a BIG OL' #4 in Naomi's Steps to create a fascist state.

Enjoy your anonymity,

Bp

Thursday, September 27, 2007

NYC Bike Messenger Race -- Seriously Scary

Posting this for The Wife. She gets all nostalgic and starts telling war stories from when she messengered in Seattle when she sees stuff like this. The video is seriously scary, worth a watch.

Enjoy your working appendages,

Bp

AIDS activist fingered by spooks

What were the 10 steps again? Because I'm pretty dam sure this type of behavior fits into one of them [actually two of them, #4 and #5].

Enjoy your civil liberties,

Bp

Dog heritage DNA test

Cool video I found on Discovery News -- you can find out the breed mix of your mutt. Were I a dog person, I would be all over this for my pet.

[whups, the player won't fit right in my blog -- oh well it will get moved down as I post more]

Enjoy your canine detective work,

Bp

One Question for the Candidates that will make or break my vote

I've been considering Naomi Wolf's article in the back of my head all day, and I realized that there is a simple way to sort out the presidential candidates. One question that will tell you where they stand regarding the path of the American Experiment -- Will you or will you not close Guantanamo bay if elected. Boom, straightforward, simple and telling.

When they waffle and get rhetorical and complicated, you know you have a loser. A simple "yes, I will make sure to close Guantanamo and correct the laws that allowed it to be created" will suffice please.

I have a bad feeling only Kucinich will answer yes unequivocally.

If a candidate is pro Guantanamo, you know they are also pro degredation of civil rights, pro concentration of executive power, anti Geneva Convention, pro torture, and anti Habeas Corpus. You will know instantly whether they are on the team of ending democracy and civil liberties in America or willing to stand up to said team.

Now the scary part -- to find out where they all stand.

Enjoy your new research project,

Bp

ps/edit/addendum: Well, with some very quick searching I'm finding that Guantanamo seems to divide the Democrats from the Republicans. I'm pleasantly surprised that the Democratic candidates are unified in their promise to close the facility. Very surprised. I'm not surprised that the Republican candidates I've checked are both either for beefing the facility and tactics up, or are equivocating about it.

See comments for some links to evidence.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Head size and intelligence, possibly a link


In this Discovery news article, a connection between head size and intelligence is posited. This could bode well for me (I wear between a 7 3/4 and 8 hat size, depending on manufacturer). There is also, however, a possible connection between big heads and dementia (which many would say also applies to me).

Enjoy your momentary flights of triumph,

Bp

This should only take a minute.

Amnesty International has started a website to go after Guantanamo Bay directly. It is starting as a petition campaign and will proceed from there. If you read the Wolf article below, you understand what this place really means. This is a quick one-minute action you can take to stand on the right side of things.

I'll mellow the pace of political talk on the blog soon, but right now this stuff is really in my face and I feel impelled to respond, even in small ways.

Enjoy the small things, especially the ones that work,

Bp

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Polar bear meets sled dog... what would you expect?

Here is a great story with pictures about a polar bear showing up for a photo shoot a man was going to do with his Husky sled dogs. A total trip.

Thanks Micah.

Enjoy your unexpected natural events,

Bp

Naomi Wolf again -- 10 steps to erode democracy and create totalitarianism

This article is an essay that summarizes 10 basic steps governments take to end freedom and begin totalitarianism. Naomi Wolf's book The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot goes into these ideas in more detail, with examples of how the current U.S. government is walking down this path.

Her name keeps coming up, and I'll probably need to get this read despite being in school.

Thanks to Shocho, from whom I gratuitously lifted this article.

Enjoy your freedoms, and your plans to preserve them,

Bp

Monday, September 24, 2007

Tigers, the ultimate fur sharks

This footage was taken in Kaziranga National Park, where a tigress was attempting to be darted by rangers after having killed some local cows.



[Technical note: if the embedded video is not loading, just double click on it and it will open the Youtube screen and play just fine]

Enjoy your natural wonders,

Bp

Old Geezer returns to campus

Morning of the changing-of-the-gears. I'm eating home-smoked salmon in scrambled eggs for breakfast, and contemplating the next year of my life. Being married to The Wife is going smashingly, and most nights as I fall asleep I feel about like This. Just real content.

School, however, can bring up slightly more difficult feelings. Like, "a full year from now you'll have your BACHELORS DEGREE... whoooopteeedooo, might as well be finishing high school in your 40's." Kind little thoughts like that. And "you'll be almost 40 by the time you start your next career, and you will be taking a pay drop -- what were you thinking again?" But as per my training, I just let those thoughts slide on by, and concentrate on the moment.

The moment now consists of an almost finished plate of breakfast and my PSU schedule. Early one this term, and 5 days a week. Knowing that the study group likes to study til 1-2 a.m. -- this presents some logistical problems. I will be interested to see how the whole thing resolves.

The Wife just came in and said "ooh, it's the first day of schoool. I feel like I should pin a note to your chest 'if lost, return to ____' and send you out with a bag lunch!" Har har.

Ok, time for the next step -- clothing and packing up the backpack.

Here we go.

Enjoy your little life transitions,

Bp

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Alpacas guarding chickens


Interesting though it is, the idea of using Alpacas to guard laying hens that this article talks about, is just cute beyond reason.

Got to love the BBC.

Enjoy your foreign farming news,

Bp

Who me, stressed?

Just because I'm up at 4 am, watching romantic comedies and cancer kid/teen dramadies doesn't mean I'm stressed, right? It's just... breaking in the new watch instantly feature on netflix.

I mean, anyone who knows me knows that I just go for those types of movies. Light human dramadies, witty yet vacuous. Quick but insubstantial. Yeah, it's the movies that are just so gripping they are keeping me up late.

I'm like totally fine.

...

A day full of work between me and my next term of school. I mean, why worry?

...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Eastern Promises Movie Trailer

T. Went to go see this last night, and really enjoyed it. It takes a real movie to catch T.'s attention. Of course, naked burly men help too, which this movie has. His recommendation weighs heavily in this house, we're looking forward to it.

Enjoy cinematic knife fights,

Bp

Friday, September 21, 2007

I totally freaking called it -- a quick morning gloat


So the family uses Netflix to watch TeeVee. We only watch second-run series on DVD -- that way we can get suggestions from friends, and watch em whenever we want. Upon the suggestion of multiple friends and most recently Uncle Terry, we gave Carnivale a shot last night.

I've found that I can't watch normal network TeeVee shows anymore. The timing and laugh tracks and assumptions made about the audience just don't work for me. It's been too long since I watched broadcast television regularly (almost 20 years) -- I've lost the chip. But HBO series are another matter entirely. They are just stretched out movies or something. Much higher quality. Six Feet Under was the first that showed us what TeeVee could be nowadays. The first season was a huge hit in this house.

But I digress, back to the gloating. We were watching Carnivale last night, and a pretty older lady (HBO is great for casting beautiful older actresses as well) was haunting my memory banks. Finally I realized who it was and blurted out, "she's that lady from The Swamp Thing!" T. and The Wife were incredulous, they made some comment about me being such a freak and laughed.

Turns out I am a freak, because I was RIGHT. It's Adrienne Barbeau, a heart-throb of mine early in my life. Probably very early actually, because there was a family friend who looked just like her.

Another quick digression: A popular story with the parents is that when the Adrienne Barbeau look-alike was visiting us and I was still a toddler, I unceremoniously grabbed her boobies -- one in each hand. Her response was "Ohhh, how cute, he likes older women." At which point she promised to return for my 16th birthday. Even though she hadn't been around for many moons at that point, she did show up for my 16th birthday -- I was thrilled and mortified simultaneously.

Enjoy your media savvy and childhood crushes,

Bp

Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Hobbit" bones debated


I cringe when I see decent scientific discoveries presented in the media with buzzwords that cheapen the relevance of the event. In this BBC article, an interesting Hominid fossil discovery in Indonesa is referred to as a "Hobbit." Geez.

The subject matter of the article is informative, despite the use of a ludicrous buzzword, you might want to give it a read.

Enjoy your spun world,

Bp

ZeFrank: What's up with the Deciduous trees yo?

Early day today, so here's some dancing bologna while I go about in search of bloggable material.

ps: I ate way too much smoked whitefish yesterday -- so good, but so rich.



Enjoy the change of seasons,

Bp

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Smoked fish for breakfast

After staying up wayyy too late, I realized that when you leave the skin on the fish, the "drying" time (no smoke, low heat) goes up 10-fold from the recipies. So, I hit the sack and pulled the fish out this morning. I used a Highly Traditional Smoker. I used 3 "loads" of alder chips for smoke, 18 hours "lite" brine, and 8 hours under heat. The small fish at least are pretty dam good. There is, of course, room for improvement.

Like a newb I brined em a bit too long (but not much), and used too much smoke. Next time, I'll add some garlic and a bit more molasses to the brine, brine them about 8 less hours, and only use 2 "loads" of chips for smoke. For a first attempt I'm quite pleased though. The fish have a great carmel color on the outside, and look just like the vacume-packed smoked whitefish you can buy in the deli counter at our local New York Style deli.

It was a great breakfast, time to bag em up.

Enjoy your random projects,

Bp

Do you have a flag? - Eddie Izzard

What to do after a very long day, it's 1 a.m., and you have to wait out the fish in the smoker? Watch Eddie Izzard videos of course.

Enjoy the end of summer, and storing your winter larder,

Bp

Monday, September 17, 2007

Biologically friendly eats: Crooked River Whitefish

Letle and I went to the Crooked River today for some fly fishing. We were targeting Whitefish specifically, destined for the smoker.

I've had this plan, see. The Crooked River has tons of trout, from 3,000 - 4,000 per mile, depending on who you talk to or what year the report you are reading was written in. They are native, and naturally reproducing, and amazingly -- people are allowed to kill them. Only two per person per day, but any native trout to my mind needs to be protected no matter what -- stockers are for killing. That's a different matter though, I digress.

Back to The plan -- Whitefish in the Crooked River are extremely abundant; enormously abundant; rabidly abundant. They outnumber the trout 10:1, and compete with the trout for food. They are natives as well, but not as popular for food so although there is no size or bag limit for them, few are killed by fishermen. The more whitefish removed from the Crooked River, the bigger and healthier the trout will become. I bought myself a smoker (the best way to cook whitefish) and plan to catch and eat as many as I can over the course of my life to help out these lovely little trout. This is wild food, "free" (I know, gas and tackle etc, but you know what I mean), and ecologically sound.

I've had some of my favorite fly fishing experiences on the Crooked river, when fishing catch and release for trout. I can't count the times I've made the drive just to do that type of fishing. This plan takes the same trip and adds bonuses to it, for me and for the river. It's great to use something I enjoy recreationally in this manner. A fly rod is a perfect tool for the selective removal of one fish species while not harming others. Trout caught are released immediately, though there is enough difference in the favored habitats for trout and whitefish that very few, if any, trout are hooked at all. Today, I didn't bring a single trout to hand, but landed probably 14 whitefish (losing so many more I'm loathe to publish an estimate).

I have to go look up a good brine recipe for the fish so I can get them prepped for smoking tomorrow.

Enjoy your systems thinking,

Bp

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Game: Which of these statements is false

Vote for which of these statements you think is false below. I'll post the answer in a few days.

1. 8:00 Sunday AM found me on the freeway with a fetid goose corpse strapped to the top of the subaru

2. A planet was discovered that has the density of balsa wood

3. The Vanity Fair cover of Nicole Kidman boobs throws me into epistemological conflict

4. There are reports of mahjong-induced epilepsy in China

5. Today I voluntarily sat in a confined space with temperatures exceeding 135 degrees

6. A health expert warned that humans are not fit for human consumption.

7. None of the above statements are false

(Sorry for the sloppy formatting -- the online generated poll I made wouldn't fit. You can vote by making a comment below)


[Thanks to Harper's Magazine "Findings" from October 2007 for some of these gems]

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Saturday Morning Crazy Stuff Show episode 14

The Saturday Morning Crazy Stuff Shows (tm) are made by my dear friend Tom. They feature sped up audio/visuals that make he and his children sound like rabid, sugar-hyped squirrels; sometimes beatboxing; consistently cool music selections; sometimes homegrown electronic music; sometimes video game references; cameos by His Wife; and always Tom having fun with his kids.

They crack me up, and I'll admit I'm biased.

Enjoy your fantastic friends,

Bp

Changing gears, from body to mind

I wonder sometimes what this schizophrenic lifestyle is doing to me. All summer I work my butt off on almost exclusively physical projects -- building things, cleaning, moving stuff, using all sorts of tools. Then comes the fall, and within 1 weekend I switch over completely to the mind. I sit in front of computers 3x more than I did all summer, I sit and listen to lectures for hours on end, take notes, memorize, and write write write.

The change is coming soon. I have one more week in the life of the body before my awareness crawls up into my cranium and spans only from the fingers up for the rest of the winter. Being married to a beautiful woman does mean I will be enticed to travel south occasionally during the school year, but these are brief tropical vacations. My consciousness will return north soon after these exploits, like a suburban commuter driving into their snout-house and closing the garage door behind them before they ever get out of the car.

I'm glad to be learning, but my gut is wrenching just a bit at the thought of it.

Enjoy your life choices,

Bp

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Computer back on track: Props to Belmont Computers, Superbad review, Montage

First, props: As if there was any doubt Belmont Computers kicks butt, check out the name of their custom build high-end gaming computer. Thanks guys, great to have my machine back.

Went out last night with Doc Ock and Tony to see Superbad (see trailer here). This was definitely a guy's night out kind of movie, The Wife was a no-go on it. I can say, we laughed our butts off. Yep, it's dumb, but it's funny as hell if you are willing to get back into the headspace of being in high-school. If your high school experience had a lot to do with scoring booze and trying to lose your virginity at least. The subject matter is typical for this genre of movie, because it is so typical for that time. What sets this movie apart is the pitch perfect writing and delivery.

I think Superbad will be the Fast Times at Ridgemont High of its generation, quoted as often as Caddyshack was in my high school locker room. It has a meeelion one liners of note, and is funny throughout the whole playtime of the film.

Hm, I just called it a "film" -- ok that IS a stretch.

Anyway, for those willing to take the ride I give it a solid A. Those unwilling shouldn't even rent it when it hits dvd.

After the movie we went to The Montage for appetizers, coffee and dessert. The service was comfortingly consistent -- diffident, probably drug-addled busgirl throws water toward our drinking glasses, hip waiter hollars our muscle shooter orders toward the kitchen (the mussel shooters are absolutely fantastic), and we were seated in a group table in the corner, elbow to elbow with other patrons even when 75% of the dining room was stark raving empty. And yet, I keep going back. The mussel shooters, coffee, and mud pies should have been explosive once combined, but we all survived it seems. Great night to hang out with some friends before the tidal wave of school pummels all three of us.

Enjoy your friends,

Bp

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

ZeFrank gets stuck at an airport -- hindsight is 20/20

I'm technologically challenged at The Wife's computer terminal, but not so much I can't post a ZeFrank video for us to enjoy.



Muhahaha,

Enjoy the little things,

Bp

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Computer blew up

I'm on The Wife's computer, typing on an alien keyboard. My computer bit the dust. The guys at Belmont Computers (who ROCK) are rebuilding it as we speak. I used to do my own work, but their price was so cheap, screw it I'll pay them to make it right.

I will keep things rolling here but don't know how savvy it will be as my "rig" is away.

Enjoy your functional computer,

Bp

The Shock Doctrine by Alfonso Cuarón and Naomi Klein

This film needs to be watched in total to get the connections being made, which is easy since it is only 6 minutes long. It is a promotion for a book, here is an article from The Times about the author and the piece. The central idea is very cogent, and I hope you will give it a moment of your time.


Enjoy your realizations,

Bp

[Article grabbed unceremoniously from The Mercury PDX blog, thanks for the find Erik]

Monday, September 10, 2007

Building Top Bar bee hives

So this weekend I went to Woodsman Bill and Doctor Anna's place out by Estacada and built some Top Bar bee hives. This is a hive and beekeeping style that's organic, and considered biodynamic as well. It appeals to me because it is low tech and puts the health of the bees as top priority. With the state of our bees in the U.S. declining, the more of these hives in the world the better as far as I'm concerned.

The first photo here is of the boxes only of the 3 hives that Woodsman Bill helped me make. There are no lids or bars in the hives, they aren't painted or anything, but it was the first step. Note in the front of the top hive the little entryway and landing pad for the bees.

The simple pine boxes reminded me of old-west coffins. The construction is pretty remedial for anyone who has done woodwork before -- it does take a table saw that can cut on an angle however, so Bill's tools were a great boon to me. He also saved me tons of time and wood and heartache by just knowing what cuts to make and where to bevel them. I'm sure I would have figured it out eventually, but not without some screaming and gnashing of teeth. The website where we got our design info has lots of other info and literature that you can check out regarding top bar bee hives and organic beekeeping.



Here are the same hives with one lid on. The way I'm going to finish off the lids and waterproof them is the next photo. Simple system using corrugated plastic, and putting a bit of a tip to the lid so it drains away from the landing pad. The prototype lid here is Bill's.



Here are two pictures of the top bars themselves. In the first you see how they stack up in a hive, and in the second is a detail of how the bar itself looks underneath. That little strip of extra wood is the part that the bees build their combs on. You prompt them to do this by rubbing beeswax on that strip before you introduce the hive. This is how the bees get to make their combs from scratch, choosing the size of their openings and whatnot to fit their needs. A much more bee-centric system than a standard production hive.





The hives are now out back at my house drying their first coat of primer. The old traditional white color is for a good reason -- to reflect sun and help keep them cool -- so I'm sticking with it.

I'll post more as the project progresses. There will not be bees until Spring, that's the best time to start new hives. Here are a few more pictures of Bill and Anna's place, their pigs and their sheep. They are working hard to live healthy and as much off their land as they can. Doctor Anna is a licensed acupuncturist and certified nutritional therapist. Her practice is called Pearl Acupuncture & Healing Center out in Sandy Oregon (503 668-7631) if there's anyone out that way that needs a health practitioner.

They are wonderful folks and I'm very grateful they spent their weekend with me, feeding me like a prince and helping me get these hives built.

Enjoy the bugs in your life,

Bp

So I Married an Axe Murderer (Heid Speech)

In honor of Stud Farmhand and The Wife, see the comments on the Uncle Fester post below.

Good call Wife

Bp

Photo: Stud Farmhand as Uncle Fester



Got this over email first thing this morning. Couldn't resist. Here's the original photo for reference.

This photo was taken, and edited, at work I do believe. You think he's got short timer syndrome?

Enjoy change,

Bp

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Stud Farmhand Retirement Countdown (tm)

In email conversation with Stud Farmhand this morning, I asked how long before he officially retires from Microsquash.

9/28.



That would be 20 days from today.



Of which 6 are weekend days.

And 3 are vacation days.

And the rest are goofing off days – come in late, take a long lunch, go home early.



Or, to use other metrics: 37 hours of commuting by car, 2 airplane flights, 18 slices of cafeteria pizza, 27 shots of espresso and 9 bagels in the car on the way to work, 9 Dr. Peppers, and 66 cans of unflavored fizzy water.



That would be 20 days 1 hour 24 mins.



But who is counting?





Enjoy your imminent retirement, all of you,

Bp

XKCD comic on native language


Great toon -- might have to create a new label category.

Enjoy,

Bp

Shoot Em Up review, it's stupidgood

I have mentioned that Ms. Bellucci kills me right? Yeah, I did mention that.

So, the movie. It is Mr. Handsome (Clive Owen) and Ms. Gorgeous and guns, lots of guns. Tons of guns. There is an action sequence in almost every single minute of this movie. [spoiler alert: next sentence] the (obligatory) sex scene is an action sequence. And always with the guns, lots of guns. Very reminiscent of early Hong-Kong action movies, before they got snapped up by Hollywood and lost their soul (Face Off anyone?).

Shoot Em Up reminded me of Grindhouse, in that it took cliche's from the genre and absolutely blew them out of the stratosphere. That is one refreshing thing about Shoot Em Up -- there is never even the remotest attempt at veracity or realism or depth. None -- not one. There is humor, or attempts at humor, and there are guns, and there are plot devices to keep the "story" going. That is all.

I can't say the camera angles were particularly refreshing, or any of the plot points, or the directing. I can say the sound track was pretty dam good, there are some great moments with the movie and the music -- reminded me of (not as good as, but close) the music in the first Matrix movie.

The audience, even though this was a near-opening night for the movie in a normal corporate theatre and not a beer theatre, was openly laughing at the ludicrousness of the movie. Whether they laughed from enjoyment or derision was hard to tell at times. But the audience was lively.

I'd say, get good and boozed up and see it in a beer theatre with a loud audience and a group of raucous friends, it could get into "A" territory. In any other context, it barely holds onto a B- in my book. It's watchable, and refreshingly frank in it's brutal simplicity. Expecting nothing more than lots of gunshots, it is fun.

As Shocho coined the phrase, it is definitely stupidgood.

Friday, September 7, 2007

3,000 year old Beehives found, (in my backyard?)


(cnn.com)

In case anyone missed this story in the comments section below -- archaeologists have found hella old beehives, which have set them to speculating madly. Very cool find.

In mine own life, bees are becoming prominent as this weekend I'm going over to Farmer Bill's ranchero to build bee hives from scratch. He has been doing a sustainable beekeeping style promoted at biobees.com. We will be building what are called top-bar hives, which give bees a lot more latitude about how to build their combs, letting them do their thing in a way that's healthier than the standard industrial hive setup.

edit/addition: Building two hives for myself, because we're going to start keeping bees this spring. Two hives is safer, because if one goes down you have a backup. I have this winter to study up and get materials. I've waited for 3 years before I took the plunge, we needed to get our garden beds settled, and our chickens properly moved in, before we took on another husbandry project.

I've got to get onto my day, but I'll keep ya'll updated about the hive making etc.

Enjoy your honey-sweetened goodness,

Bp

Thursday, September 6, 2007

XKCD comic just for The Study Group

Posting this for The Study Group in honor of school commencing soon[insert secret handshake here]:



[remember, click on the picture to make it bigger/readable]

Enjoy you inner geek,

(thanks for reminding me of this strip Bentley)

Shoot 'Em Up - trailer

I was just thinking about Monica Bellucci last night. These thoughts happen to coincide with The Wife being out of town on business til the weekend. Then I saw mention of this movie on Shocho's blog -- what a happy coincidence!

The movie's probably going to suck, but it's an action movie, and has one of my biggest screen crushes in it to boot -- a must see for a bachelor Friday night. Going to call some of the guys and see it opening night.

Enjoy your bizarre justifications,

Bp

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

If in doubt: Missy Elliot - The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)

Love this song, and the video is so completely random that it deserves props.

Been a long enough day that I figured it better to post an artist than try to be one myself. See you on the 'morrow.

Enjoy your musical taste,

Bp

Two drink reviews, well three: Inversion IPA, Snapple Lemonade, and one other

Deschutes Brewery normally kicks butt, their Mirror Pond Pale Ale is one of my all time favorite beers. I don't drink a lot of beer, but when I do have a bit I like a smooth, crisp beer and sometimes a poignant hoppy bite (often found in an IPA or India Pale Ale). The Wife brought home Inversion IPA the other day, and immediately decided it was way way too hoppy and bitter to drink. And she likes IPA's. Last night I tried it, and found our palates are similar. It was REALLY BITTER, like REALLY REALLY -- medicinally so. Over the top in my opinion.

It reminds me of the late 80's - Early 90's California Chardonnays. Oaky Chardonnay was all the rage out of California (even though it's prominent oak notes were a weird modern, left-coast twist on that wine style) and eventually they just kept amping it up and amping it up til the wines were ridiculously overpowered with oak flavor. I think the Pacific NW'er palate has been getting more and more educated about hops and bitterness by our microbrews, but that Inversion has finally taken it too far. I am positive many would disagree but I'd be curious if any readers have tried this beer and what their opinion is. I am the first to admit I'm no beer connoisseur, I don't work at it or anything I just like what I like.

Secondly, a simple review: Snapple Lemonade: Tastes like Pledge sprayed into sugar water. I'm pretty dam sure powdered lemonade mixes taste better than this. Just horrible.

Thirdly, mixing Snapple Lemonade with Inversion IPA to try and fix both (it was a long day) -- drinkable. Barely.

Enjoy your summer beverages,

Bp

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Gorilla refuge seized by Guerillas

In horrible news this morning, control over Virunga National Park in the Republic of Congo has gone over to rebels.

I'm not studied enough in the politics of the situation to know whether the rebels or the government or (most likely) neither group holds any moral high ground in the human element of this story. I do know that war takes money, and gorillas are big precious bags of money to some peoples' eyes, alive or dead. I doubt a rebel force would be promoting eco-tourism so that they can make money without killing or displacing some of the last wild mountain gorillas in the world.

Enjoy and protect your native wild animals,

Bp

Sunday, September 2, 2007

ZeFrank Poll

Although I dig ZeFrank shows, I was curious about ya'll's opinion (ya'll's is a word, shut up) of them.

Enjoy your voting,

Bp

ZeFrank on L.A., humans as poker chips, and places that don't really exist

I'm off to a bbq with The Study Group, here's some of ZeFrank's surreally brilliant mind for you to enjoy in the interim.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Fungi help make Biofuel

Was cleaning out my "blog" email site and found this article sent to me by my neighbor. Fungus is being used to make the production of biofuel more efficient. Awesome.

Enjoy the rays of hope,

Bp

Morning muse -- blog audience

[Using "muse" as a verb here, not a reference to my blazingly talented photographer friend in Victoria Canada]

Mother of The Wife emailed yesterday that she's just loving the blog and would be commenting often if she could figure out how to keep her computer from getting intestinal problems every time she clicked the "comments" link (It's probably a pop-up blocker Mum). My own mother wrote this morning to say that she's sending a link to some friends in So Cal because we share similar interests -- lower environmental footprint, closer to the land, still living urban, etc. I know that there is a 12-year-old eldest-sister of 6 out there who reads this as well, which really worried me at first since I consider this barely a pg-13 publication. I can get a bit paralyzed thinking about who might stumble across these thoughts.

I promise not to get actually paralyzed, or get too vanilla, or lose my humor just because I'm overthinking who may be reading this. I'm positive the father of that 12-year-old knows how to use site blockers should he decide it necessary, and that if I fart onscreen in front of my mother in law she'll just leave the room and come back later. I have no idea who might find the RBT's interesting, or the confessions of an Old Geezer on Campus, even. But thinking about these things isn't my job really, and I just need to remind myself of that sometimes.

So far this morning I've resisted the inevitable batch of Donut Queen donuts that T. hunts and gathers every Saturday morning, drank some hot water to warm my stomach up before Qi Gong practice, and will now proceed to the basement to "kick my own ass." This is what my Qi Gong practice is lovingly referred to by The Wife and T. now, since they know one portion of it involves striking certain acupuncture points. I'll get to that and report back later -- possibly about The Luddites' genius rural business, or some random whiff of science news that comes my way.

Ps: I've also received some kind emails from tea companies asking if I'd like to get some samples and review their products here. I appreciate the kind words, but I have some serious product loyalty when it comes to tea and will be continuing to give a gratuitous monopoly to The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants and Black Dragon Teas (writeup to come when the new teas arrive) in this regard, as I love these folks and their teas rock.


Enjoy your internet publications,

Bp