September 30, 2010

September 24, 2010

September 23, 2010

September 22, 2010

September 19, 2010

September 18, 2010

sometimes the light's all shining on meeee....

...other times I can barely see / lately it occurs to me / what a long strange trip it's been...

September 17, 2010


This hawk was soaring over the auditorium just before Mike's graduation. That's all I have to say about that.

September 15, 2010

family day at fort leonard wood

My son graduates from basic training tomorrow. We couldn't be prouder. He's a good man.

September 12, 2010

my next incarnation

flood oaks

some post-flood pictures

The local hike and bike trail wasn't totally washed away by Hermine. I would estimate 20 percent of it between Great Oaks and the dam is badly damaged, another 20 percent mildly so, but the rest is in pretty good shape.

Until you get to the dam. It looks like the waters found a route around the southern end of the dam and carved a new channel back into the creek below. This section is about 50 yards wide; some of the ruts are eight feet deep. A fellow cycle-toter said this was still a raging torrent a couple days ago. (For perspective, that's a jogger with a jogging stroller at the top of the frame.)

This is a view of the trail from below. (I portaged my bicyle across the washout to continue.)

These carp were trapped in a pool at the bottom of the washout.

There's a bright side for some...

Here's the flood gauge in the lake. It's at 24 feet. The water is still up to the sidewalk that crosses the dam. It's evident that the water was over the sidewalk for a while. I wonder where all the snakes went.

The worst of the damage is above the dam. The park that ordinarily nestles snugly in the trees on the north shore of the lake is gone. This is the children's waterpark, which is normally a quarter mile or so from the water:

And here's a tree near the dam:

September 8, 2010

some days i can't believe i get to live on this planet

Post deluge.



I had most of the day off - I had to go to the doctor for a tick bite that I got while hiking at the preserve on Monday, which subsequently got all red and gnarly. (Ten days of doxycycline for me!)

So this afternoon we drove down Parmer Lane to check out the flooding from last night's rain.

The first shot is Brushy Creek Lake from the Parmer bridge - the water is right at the base of the bridge (the power lines are about two feet above the water). That amounts to something like eighteen feet of water under the bridge. The second shot is of the park on the other side of Parmer - all the football, soccer and baseball fields are under at least six feet of water, if not more.

There was still water over Brushy Creek road this afternoon. Our local hike/bike trail will be wiped out.

The Lower Colorado River Authority says we got 8-1/2 inches of rain in the last 24 hours in our neighborhood. (One of Bren's clients who lives nearby said they had 14 inches in their rain gauge.)

September 7, 2010

waterproofing a kindle

Wherein a random verse plays off the name of the device. It happens.

This method works swell, by the way. We're having a tropical blow today and I carried it in the baggie in my satchel to and from the train and bus. I got pretty wet. The device did not.

September 6, 2010

labor day hike at the preserve

We got up early for a hike at Doeskin Ranch. It started raining as we were driving home. Good timing.

September 5, 2010

new kindle notes

I actually used the phrase "...should one deign to grace our abode with its noble presence" in a spoken sentence today. And I wasn't even kidding around or anything, but for the fact that I was referring to a hummingbird. A little later I caught myself thinking, "If a garden is a true reflection of the gardener's soul, mine is a dry, desolate place, with only a few stubborn green shoots struggling desperately to survive."

I've been reading a lot of high-minded stuff lately.

My Kindle arrived on August 31, a present for my 47th(!) birthday. I immediately purchased Sigrid Undset's Catherine of Siena ($9.99) and a King James Bible ($0.99). I also uploaded a picture of a statue and a picture of my late dog Juniper (I miss her). A couple days later I uploaded The New Science by Giambattista Vico ($0.00) from the Internet Archive and Andrew Lang's Pink Fairy Book ($0.00).

Between the bus and the train and a couple of long-stretch sittings at home, I finished Catherine today. It's a wonderful book. It has given me a lot to think about. Reading Undset is liking standing on an ocean shore; thoughts and ideas and history come in overlapping waves. It's enchanting, hypnotic.

As for reading on the Kindle, the screen is dimmer than I thought it would be - the contrast is clean, but the color of the page seems dark. I am an inveterate low-light reader, but a dim lamp that I could use for a paperback isn't really bright enough for the Kindle. The trade-off is that it in good light, it's really easy on the eyes, and I've found I can read for an hour or two or three with no eye strain at all. Can't say that for a computer screen. It's kind of weird, though, because it's a device, you know, and it sort of looks and acts like a computer screen, so you expect it to be brighter, which is why, I think, I've been noticing the darkness of the background. But I'll get used to it. All of the interface elements - the page-turn buttons, the menus - are quiet, understated, which really gets them out of the way of the reading. Nicely done.

I'm mulling over a plan to read along with the St. John's College liberal arts graduate curriculum, which is why I uploaded the Vico. I've skimmed a few pages so far. Maybe I'll start with the undergraduate curriculum.

In other news, apropos of nothing, we learned today that "niwanowani" is Japanese for "alligator in the yard."