Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monsters in the News

Both of these pictures creep me out in an ancient, deep way. The first one washed ashore on a beach on the East Coast near Long Island, while the other is a deformed pig from China. I read about both on Boing Boing The pig causes revulsion amongst all but one boy who is hand feeding it. The beach "monster" is stirring up in people conspiracy theories about secret government animal testing labs.

The dynamics of fear, horror, rejection and paranoia are ubiquitous. Next groups will be using emotional reactions to these "monsters" to promote their causes.

I'm having an intra-personal war on my own feelings of terror. A rational understanding will keep me from becoming something terrible myself.

He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Slow Turtle Fun

Here's an alligator snapping turtle I came across while biking in Itasca State park. I held a stick in front of it. First it hissed and drew back its neck; next it snapped! I jumped.

Fast Car Fun

Here is a video link to a couple of cars that I have had the fortune to drive, but not buy. One is a BMW M6 the other is a CLK 63 AMG Black Series. They are amazing. The sound and feel of both moved me.

I figured out that the Mercedes goes for roughly 25 times what my used Camry cost. Driving these cars takes the mystic out of expensive cars. I realize they are just cars like my Camry. Driving them makes me appreciate what I have more, instead of less.

And, a framed print from Target is almost the same as a painting in the Louvre, right?

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Good balance

Here's a teaching colleagues riding my bike down the hall passed a door with more traditional forms of motivation. The contrast in styles is striking.

Click on the picture to expand it for easier reading of the signs on the door.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pirate Shed

I have the solar power unit finished on my shed. Music playing, fan blowing, computer running and a light on because I can. It feels good to use free power.

The skull and crossbones are from a raccoon. I mounted them to be like a pirate!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Off the Grid Shed

I wired up my shed today. I put in four indoor outlets, one outdoor outlet and a light with switch. I hooked the inverter to the battery and was able to run my fan, radio, lights and a drill at the same time. It worked really well. I took the kids to their soccer games, so I couldn't finish.

It was rewarding to do the wiring. More rewarding to see it work. Tomorrow I will mount the solar panel and run the leads to the battery. With the solar equipment keeping the the 12v battery charged,My solar shed will be done.

The panel and the inverter were on sale. $60 bucks for the pair, and $23 for other wiring supplies. I'm putting the new battery I paid $64 dollars for in our car. I will use the older one in the shed.

$147,which includes a new battery in the car, seems a reasonable total cost.
I will have spent about 5 hours total labor time. It has been more fun than work.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Birth of a Bike

With the pride of an uncle, I watched my brother's new bike come into the world today. We were unable to ride it though, as a storm came tearing parts of the building off. All very exciting.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Mobile Repair Station

I've been teaching summer school and noticing that many of the student have bikes in unsafe and unsavory condition. I saw one student walking her bike to school. She had two flat tires, no brakes a red chain and formerly attached cables wrapped around her bike to keep them from being tangled in the moving parts that still move and the stationary parts that move too.

I spent some time after school with my mobile repair station servicing their bikes. It was fun for both the kids and me. I remember being a kid whose flat tire would keep me off my bike for weeks.

I would like these kids to ride and enjoy biking.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Biking with Claire

Claire and I went on a bike camping trip this weekend. We had a great time. Here is a picture of her touring BMX bike along with my old Fuji "Nob" attached.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

I read the Declaration of Independence today and was impressed by the diatribal nature of its text. I encourage you to read the document thinking about about the current state of our government. How are we doing compared to King George? At least read the list of complaints starting with the third paragraph. Independence requires independent thought.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Perfect imperfection

Delight in Disorder
by Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674)

A sweet disorder in the dress
Kindles in clothes a wantonness:–
A lawn about the shoulders thrown
Into a fine distractiĆ³n,–
An erring lace, which here and there
Enthrals the crimson stomacher,–
A cuff neglectful, and thereby
Ribbands to flow confusedly,–
A winning wave, deserving note,
In the tempestuous petticoat,–
A careless shoe-string, in whose tie
I see a wild civility,–
Do more bewitch me, than when art
Is too precise in every part.

land of the rising son

Back yard archery