Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wow, long time no blog. I've been around, just not blogging here.

I had a great trip to Arizona... got to see some people that I had not seen in a LONG time. Of course there was not enough time to see everyone I would have liked :-(.

Fall came on Sunday, and it really did arrive. Driving down to the rink Monday a.m. there was fog on the fields.. and a chill in the air. The weather was pretty nice this week but Friday the rains came, and now it's the usual Oregon grey and cold. The Oregonian helpfully commented:

Less of a surprise is how the weather took a wintry turn regionwide Friday, likely to be the first in a long string of wet days stretching into late next week. October, just around the corner, tends to mark the beginning of a rainy season that typically lasts through May in western Oregon.

Well! Yep, 8 months of rain to look forward to. I know folks in Az think I exaggerate this stuff, but I'm not. Oh well. And to add insult to injury (so to speak), Costco has Christmas stuff on sale already! At the end of September! Sheesh.

On the positive side, I took my car in to Sears today because the oil change place claimed my battery was going bad. Sears said it was fine. While I was there I saw a nail in my right front tire -- they checked it out, but amazingly enough even though it was 2+ inches long it had not gone through the tire, but instead followed the curve of the tire. So no flat and no charge! I was psyched.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

It's my birthday... 44 years old! I felt old today. I sleep like crap anymore, actually, I either don't sleep at all, or I can't get up. Sheesh. But today was an okay day, traveled to Dupont for work, on 3 hours of sleep I was pretty tired. Now I'm packing and getting ready for my trip to Arizona tomorrow. It will be great to be back in the Grand Canyon state... I miss it.
So, the nation paused today to recall the attacks of Sept. 11th, as it should. Flags flew at half-staff, and I noticed that many people mentioned it to me in small ways. For myself, I prayed as usual for the repose of the soul of John Badagliacca, and for his family. I've been wearing a Mercy Band with his name on it since sometime in early 2002, and I pray for him daily. Rest in peace, John.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Intel's revival rides on new tech -

Here's a cool article on my employer --
Intel's revival rides on new tech. Check it out.
Some interesting news tidbits...

There may be an answer to why so many American bee hives have been dying off.

Everyone's in a tizzy that some nuclear weapons were flown over US soil. I'm not that excited. It's not like they are going to go off. Seriously, they are designed for that not to happen.

Finally, some more in the long line of why adult stem cells are better than embryonic stem cells: -- skin stem cells used to mend spines in rats. So why are so many people excited about embryonic stem cells? Follow the money!

Monday, September 03, 2007

I'm home from my trip, safe and sound. Some highlights:

Saturday: got up and left Twin Falls. I couldn't see it at night, but Twin Falls is right next to the Snake River, which runs in this deep gorge right next to the town. It's pretty cool. Drove straight to the tailgate party and got there exactly on time. Had a good time at the tailgate, then walked over to the football game. BYU's campus is right up against the mountains; it's a beautiful setting. Unfortunately we played pretty poorly and got soundly thrashed 20-7. Sheesh. After the game, I was walking back to the car and got to talking to some BYU fans. They wanted to know if I'd enjoyed my stay, was I welcomed, etc. Of course I told them that their hospitality was awesome (it was). Mormon folks are almost always very kind and welcoming. It was a pleasure to enjoy their hospitality.

After that, drove up to SLC and found a Motel 6 and crashed for the night. The next morning, got up and went to 11 a.m. Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. Wow! What a beautiful place. Mass was very nice, including a fair amount of singing in Latin (including the Sanctus and the Credo (!)). No choir, just a cantor. After Mass there was a tour, which was fascinating. Then a quick bite to eat and skating for an hour (see my skating blog for info), and then I hit the road for home.

I-80 is pretty dull, but I did take a moment to stop at the Bonneville Salt Flats. I actually walked out on them a bit. The salt is harder than you'd think, but it really sticks to your shoes! I also enjoyed seeing Pilot Peak. It's a very majestic looking mountain.

I had originally planned on stopping for the night at Winnemucca but when I got there, decided to go further even though it was already almost 10. Not a good idea, in retrospect. I got to Ft. McDermitt and saw a sign saying "next services 100 miles", which was pushing it a bit, so I turned back and filled my tank. Then I continued.

I stopped at a rest stop somewhere in the middle of nowhere, to use the bathroom. It was SO dark, and so clear. A million stars, and even the Milky Way. I can't remember the last time I saw it, but it was heart-stoppingly beautiful. It's a shame so many city folks have never even seen it!

Anyway, drove on. Thought I could stop at Burns Junction, but it turns out there really isn't anything there, so continued to Burns (Oregon). The last 90 miles was nasty -- pitch dark, no traffic, narrow windy road with no shoulder, and signs saying "Livestock". I had nightmares about hitting a cow. As it turned out, I hit a bunny :-(. Very traumatizing for me, and of course not so good for the bunny either. Finally got into Burns about 12:15 and found a nice hotel and went to bed.

Monday morning, got up at 9:30 (PDT) and hit the road. Central Oregon reminds me of northern AZ, it's all high desert. Miles and miles of nothing at all, then a few ranches. After a while the air began to get increasingly hazy. When I got to Bend I found out that there was a big forest fire near there, they were evacuating people on US 20 (the highway I was on). Continued on my way and finally got home around 5. It was a nice trip, but a long one!

I took a bunch of pictures that I'll post on my MySpace page when I get a chance.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

On the road... I'm in lovely (well, how would I know, it's dark!) Twin Falls, ID. it took me 9.5 hours to drive here from Hillsboro. Some impressions of the drive...
  • The Columbia Gorge really is pretty. The Columbia is a big freakin' river. Like, really big. The upper Gorge reminds me of the Colorado a bit, this huge river flowing through a desert... though in this case it's high desert.
  • I really love my car! It's so much fun.
  • Stopped for lunch in The Dalles. What an odd place.
  • I didn't get a good luck at the Bonneville dam, and I guess Grand Coulee is a ways up. I wanted to see some dams and I didn't really. I'll have to come back.
  • There's a lot of agriculture, all irrigation based, around Pendleton. It's neat.
  • The valley that La Grande is in in really pretty... very pastoral and lots o' cows.
  • There was a sign marking the 45th Parallel, halfway from the equator to the north pole. I guess it really IS a long way to the pole from here.
  • There was a forest fire outside Ontario, OR. Spooky orange glow in the hills...
  • It was raining at one point and I couldn't see a darn thing... was thinking "Dang it! Need new wiper blades!" and then it occurred to me to turn the defroster on. Problem solved! I don't think of such things in August.
  • The moon rising above the clouds in Caldwell, ID. Pretty.
  • The Mormon temple in Boise... eerie at night.
Okay, that's it. Time for a brief sleep, then on to Provo to watch the Wildcats play BYU.