Archive for February, 2011

First, everything you’ve ever loved is going to be uprooted and blown over, possibly as far as the next county. Whatever is left will be soaked by torrential rain, provided it doesn’t get burnt to a crisp by the likely chance of lightning. The rain will ease up a little around midnight, but the temperature is going to continue decreasing, so feel free to keep bitching and moaning about that. Then a little later, it’s going to rain and/or snow. We don’t really know which, but it’s definitely going to happen. Around 3am, the temperature is going to plummet, leaving your whiny ass and wet possessions cryogenically frozen until mid-June when things tend to thaw out around here. Have fun!

Sorry, pup.

An Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About ItAn Inconvenient Truth: The Planetary Emergency of Global Warming and What We Can Do About It by Al Gore

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Turning a powerpoint presentation into a half-way interesting book is no easy task, particularly for politicians who’d much rather yap us to death than put it all in writing. However, Al Gore managed to do just that in the wake of a lost presidential campaign, and I think the world is better for it. This quick read is rife with visual aides, somewhat topical anecdotes, and easily digestible information that is suitable for audiences ranging from environmental novices, scientific experts, and global warming naysayers.

Even if you don’t believe global warming is a problem, go sit by a highway in Houston or LA and smell the shit in the air. Wouldn’t you want a cleaner burning vehicle if didn’t cost any more than what you pay now? Wouldn’t you want to live in a home more accessible to work/school/wherever you go if it was as cheap as living in the boonies? The book makes some convincing points about how altering habits and investing in better sources of energy today can have great benefits in the future.

Say what you want about Gore’s politics (and he couldn’t resist throwing a little bit in there, e.g., “I wanted to do x, but Bush did y“), but it’s clear he means well. Fighting for the environment is an uphill battle, and it’s hard to see an ulterior motive for someone to do it when most of the money is on the other side. If you’re not a Gore fan, pretend he’s just some random guy sharing travel photos and snapshots of his family and read the book anyway. It’s pretty quick and painless when you consider all the Bushisms we lived with for eight years.

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Ever since I started taking flying lessons at Paine Field, I’ve been wanting to post pictures from the air. Rain or shine, every trip reminds me how beautiful it is out here and how lucky I am to be able to view all of it so easily. Below are some quick shots I took this morning. The weather ended up being a lot better for flying than I thought, since it was so nasty last night and not forecasted to get any nicer. It wasn’t bright out by any means (in fact, it’s raining now!), but that’s better because flying with the sun in your eyes is a bitch.

I used to go at lunchtime a couple times a week, but I’ve started doing mornings and it’s so much better. The weather tends to be calmer and you can still see fog in the valleys.

I didn’t want my instructor to think I wasn’t taking my lessons seriously, so I didn’t ask to take a picture until today. I’m starting to get a much better handle on the tasks I’m asked to do (slow flight, flying in a traffic pattern, stalling and coming out of it, etc.), which made me a little braver with little requests like this.

I know these pictures don’t do it justice, so you’ll just have to believe me when I say it was the perfect day for flying. I need a new camera and/or permission to bring a photographer friend next time!