So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Altadena, CA
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
If I had a wagon I would, go to Colorado
Saturday. 8.9.08 11:24 am
Tuesday. 8.5.08 2:04 am
Well I'm back from Hawaii and temporarily back on the grid.
Here are some highlights:
More later, for now I'm off to explore some sand dunes.
Friday. 7.25.08 10:42 pm
Friday. 7.25.08 3:10 am
At 3 am they come around and give your car a ticket for being parked overnight. I came out around 3 and sure enough, the cops came around the corner, angling to give my car a ticket. But I was there, getting into my car, there was nothing he could do! I win!
So I moved my car onto Brown property. I just need to remember to move it before the Brown people show up, or they'll give me a ticket. But they're not awake at 3 am, lazy Brown people.
3 am does put you in a different realm of crappy-feeling-ness, though. Having to move your car is like admitting that you're going to be here all night. The other landmark is around 4:30am, when my advisor will show up for work and we'll experience the dreaded OVERLAP.
I'm going to start working like crazy to see if I can avoid that occurrence...
Summertime, and the livin's easy
Thursday. 7.24.08 7:04 pm
Well tonight's the night.
Last night was supposed to be the night, but then my friend called me and asked if I would drive her to the ER in my car.
I was like shiiiiit naw, biatch, getcha own!
Ok, that's not really a request that you turn down. Especially when it's actually her roommate calling you on her behalf since she feels that bad.
So me and my friend and the roommate moseyed on down to the ER and stayed there from about 6:30pm til 1:00am. Turns out they still don't know what's wrong with her, but they managed to stick her 9 times with various needles until they managed to get a bit of blood and an IV. They had to get the blood out of the back of her hand. Apparently she was so dehydrated that her veins retreated back into her skin. In order to hydrate her they had to get an IV in, but in order to get an IV in, they needed a vein. I attententively watched them fishing around in her arm for a vein, and asked questions about how you decide which one is the best. The guy that finally got it (the third person that tried) said that it's all about the feel. The vein has got to stick out, throbbing beneath your fingers.
At one point they thought they got the IV in, and actually it had infiltrated, meaning that they'd stuck the needle in the vein and it had poked through further down and saline solution was pouring into her tissue. Kind of like when you have a cut and you go to the beach, only combined with a terrible bruise-like pain and swelling of your wrist like a balloon. My friend was in a bit of pain, yes, only crying out and sobbing and telling us she wanted to go home. Finally the doctors realized that it had infiltrated and they took it out. I realized that that must have been what had happened to me the first time I got an IV. I remember feeling the solution pumping into my arm and I remember intense, mind blowing pain. I remember telling my mother that I didn't care what was wrong with me, that I wanted to go home right then. I also remember the next time I got an IV and it totally didn't hurt at all. Now it all made sense-- they had been pumping saline solution into my flesh... I just hadn't yelled at them because I thought that maybe it was supposed to feel like that.
I told my friend that this was all just anti-terrorist training, so that when she was captured she wouldn't give away any of our secrets.
So that means that instead of staying up most of the night last night doing work, I'm going to be staying up ALL night tonight doing work....
So I got some chocolate-covered expresso beans, Doritos, and grapes (have to be sort of healthy).
ps--- so a bunch of geologists are in Kamchatka and they got surrounded by 30 bears. Already the bears have eaten two of the geologists and right now the weather is too bad to send a helicopter in after them. They did send some hunters in a 4x4 though, so we'll see what happens. The question this brings to mind of course is IF YOU WERE GOING INTO THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE IN KAMCHATKA, WHY DIDN'T YOU BRING A GUN?!!?!!?!?
Or maybe they did, and the guy who got eaten had it, and now they can look out from their yurt and see the bears all around and out in the middle is the guy's arm still clutching the gun but no one wants to run out and get it!
At least it's not velociraptors, that's all I can say.
ps- If you played RISK!, you would immediately know where Kamchatka is.
Wednesday. 7.23.08 5:45 pm
A short meme from brutaly's site
Are you male or female: Female
Describe yourself: debonair
How do some people feel about you: suspiiiiiiiicious...
How do you feel about yourself: Tired
Describe your ex girlfriend/boyfriend: Warcraft addict
Describe your current girlfriend/boyfriend: invisible
Describe where you want to be: HAWAII!
Describe what you want to be: A leopard
Describe how you live: meal to meal
Describe how you love: suspiciously
I regret that I have but one life to give for my country
Sunday. 7.20.08 12:27 am
Well I just saw Dark Knight. It was so awesome. But, like most of those kind of really AWESOME movies do, it set me to thinking. First, about how much more I've always liked Batman than the other super heroes. He's only a man, after all. He's got to get by with his ingenuity. And Batman is so driven. Sometimes days go by when all I think about is work and figuring out a problem, and the whole day goes by in an instant because my mind is so completely engaged. Batman is like that all the time. I can't imagine that Batman daydreams very often.
But Batman is also a fictional character. Surely Christian Bale daydreams.
Rambo is another of my heroes. If you haven't seen Rambo 4 yet, you have missed something fundamental. Rambo 4 was possibly the most powerful movie I have ever seen. The feelings it stirred in me were not new feelings, but they were overpowering to the point that I couldn't sleep.
But Rambo is also a fictional character.
So in this blog I would like to talk about my friend Justin. Justin is not a fictional character. Justin and I have been friends since 7th grade. He asked for my email address one day in the hallway and then dropped all of his books all over the floor. We were in the same history class that year and I remember one day when our teacher asked the class who would die for their country. Three of us raised our hands: me, Justin, and totally unexpectedly, a popular blonde named Whitney. The teacher asked us if we would still die for our country if we felt that the country was fighting a war that most people didn't support, or we thought we were going to lose. I said that if that were the case then my country would need all the help that it could get.
Justin is an incredibly complicated human being, and even more complicated is the fact that he's always striving to change himself, to better himself. He's always trying to identify his weaknesses, and to fix them. He seems tireless.
But what I most admire about Justin is that he is in the Army, training to be a helicopter pilot. What he desires is to finish his training and go to Iraq. He is delivering on the statement he made in 7th grade, that he would support his country all the way. He is putting his money where his mouth is, since he's always believed in the mission. For a while he worked for a think-tank in Washington studying tactics and troop movements in Iraq. I remember when he became so passionate about what he was discovering that he wrote an email to the President recommending the surge shortly before it was announced. Perhaps the President took his advice.
Justin says he likes to think of his friends as soldiers of fortune, having adventures all over the globe. He once said I fit his image and so remain his friend. I do a fair amount of adventuring. But while the world has given me everything, my return contribution to the world has been scant. The image of Justin over there in a war zone, going on sorties, patrolling cities, giving out supplies, ferrying out wounded soldiers- that seems like a life well lived. I haven't really told him, but I am fiercely proud of him, and I admire him very greatly. Soldiers like him daily defend the weak and bring stability and security to places long chained by fear and oppression. Like the fictional characters I like to watch, they must face difficult decisions. Sometimes the violence gets worse before it gets better.
Many struggle with the people they need to become and the things they need to do in order to do what must be done. They are true heroes.
I need to do something: to build something, to fix something. There is a contingent of American and British geologists who are stationed in Afghanistan where they map the seismic hazards of the rather seismically active country and train Afghanis to read the language of the rocks and thus mitigate the toll of earthquake disasters like the one that happened several years ago. These people change lives, even if their efforts go largely unnoticed. I've been reading a book about the political and diplomatic history of the US and southeast asia from 1899 to 1973: these diplomats also change peoples' lives, and their actions spread outwards like ripples in a pond.
One always worries about one's safety. Sure, I could go somewhere and be piling sandbags or giving malaria injections- but then again I have been obtaining certain skills: would I serve better here, researching new forms of energy, searching for new oil fields, sending much needed money to the people who are piling sandbags by a river?
How best to use one's life?
There are a great many causes for which I feel I would give my life. But how to choose which is best?
I regret that I have but one life to give for my country.
Adventures with Lightning
Saturday. 7.19.08 9:01 am
It was well after 9 pm, but it was still over 90 degrees and almost 100% humidity. As we drove through the city, green lightning flashed above us about every thirty seconds.
"Heat lightning," my friend said.
I'd never heard of it. She said she couldn't explain the science behind why it happened, just that it did when it was really hot. We were supposed to watch Star Wars at Zebo's house, but when we arrived we decided to stay outside and watch the lightning instead.
We moseyed across the street to the little park there and lay on the hillside. There were enough large trees around that we figured we were fairly safe. Besides, the lightning had so far been cloud to cloud. The green lightning flashed on, without rain or thunder. Then the bolts started growing in width and turning bluish. Thunder cracked not far away. The wind whipped through the tops of the trees.
If ever an alien were to crash land on the Earth and then offer to give us super powers, this would be the moment.
Instead we saw a huge thick blob of lightning growing in the sky above us. Instead of being bolt-like, this was like looking at lightning straight on. And perhaps we were, because the light grew to unbearable brightness and then went out. Immediately following, just over our right shoulders, a clap of thunder cracked louder than I've ever heard.
All of us jumped up as one mind and ran into the house, hearts unnaturally pounding and a nervous chilly feeling throughout our bodies.
Yeah, we're pretty much huge idiots. But when lightning comes so infrequently, you have to take it for all it's worth!
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