Sunday, May 25, 2008
It's amazing how you can take a picture like that and not even notice that your shadow seems to be the focus of the photo.
Yesterday we went for a hike. I was ready for a little break after comps, so we went up to Bridal Veil Falls and did a little 'hiking' (I'm glad my kids were looking for dirt when I said we were going for a hike, but unfortunately there was no dirt on this trail).
This is my wife with the baby. I like this picture. I wonder what they are looking at.
This is the Mugwump playing in a little pond at the bottom of the falls.
And this has to be one of my all time favorite photos. This is Six-Pence giving me a flower. I did a little cropping to get my foot out of the picture, but I like the contrast of the grimy little boy (notice dried mud on face and fingers) being thoughtful with what he could find.
Look at that, it was almost like a real post. I've had several 'shorts' recently, but should be able to really get going again in a couple more weeks.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Although someone left me an earring on the desk where I took my comps, I did not have to use it to jab my eyes out half way through. I feel that I did OK, but have some refreshing to do before orals in two weeks.
So here's what I did today. I rode into school. I picked up a computer and set it next to my lunches, water and snacks. I typed for 8 hours to answer 6 questions. 8000+ words and 12+ single spaced pages (that's almost 17 words per minute, which also included a little time to think and eat... OK, that's not great typing). I'm going home now. I need to get ready for part two next week. There are 7 questions next week... I hope the earring is still there.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I know he's hard to understand, but I'm sure he is trying to say, "Happy Mother's Day". (I didn't mean for that to rhyme).
While I'm experimenting, I'll try Youtube as well. This one is from Six-Pence. He doesn't talk very loudly, so you may need to turn up the volume.
Right, I do have three kids. Here's the Mother's Day wish from number three. Again via Youtube, I think that's the way to go. Tell me what you think.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
Sunday, May 4, 2008
The new baby is getting bigger. He's just beginning to take on facial features that are not just baby features. And it's warming up so we can take him out of his bundle of clothes and actually see his face.
Six-Pence with a stuffed animal.
Mugwump is ready for battle. He has his helmet, a shield (lid to a pot) and his spaghetti scooper. It's hard to loose if you are armed like that.
Now the Mugwump is looking through his spaghetti scooper. For whatever reason, I sort of like this picture.
There's another picture of Jaguar. He seems to scowl a lot. I often wonder if he is scowling at me or the world.
Thursday, May 1, 2008
I'm a child of the 80's. Well, I was born in the 70's, but most of my childhood memories are from the 80's. I remember vividly the commercials on TV asking for donations to help the people of Ethiopia who were starving because of a drought that had lasted a long time. There were pictures of sad kids and mothers who looked really hungry. I never donated, but some of those images really stuck with me. Here in the Western world, we have it really well. I have never been deprived of food (except for long bike rides when I'm not bright enough to bring enough food to get me home).
You're right, I don't blog about Ethiopia or droughts in Africa. I blog about bike related stuff and simplicity. Today I'm going to add ethics to the mix and talk a little about ethanol as a fuel. For some time the US government has subsidized farmers who grow (or don't grow) crops such as corn. This keeps cost of US corn low and makes it so poorer countries can't compete with our prices (like most of Africa). Most Americans don't concern themselves too much with that idea because the subsidies do keep many farmers in business who would otherwise really be struggling. I don't know what makes US farmers better than Africans, but that isn't the point that I want to address today.
Currently corn prices are sky rocketing (along with other grains that can be used to make fuels such as bio diesel) and the farmers are in a better situation. I don't think the subsidies have stopped, but I could be wrong on that. The reason prices are rising is because we are developing technologies to turn these crops into fuel. While it may help us beat peak oil (which I think is approaching quickly), I think it could have some catastrophic consequences.
It's simple economics (I say that, but I'm really not an economist). Demand for corn is high because it is now not only a food, but also a fuel. So the prices go up for foods that contain corn. (try to find a processed food that doesn't contain corn syrup...there aren't many.) And this turns into a great ethical decision.
The free market economy that we live in allows supply and demand to regulate prices (with a little intervention). Now we have the wealthy who can afford fuel for their cars and the poor who can't afford food. Is it OK (ethical) for the wealthy to have luxuries that directly result in others starving? Oh, I just found a cool website. Put in your income and it will tell you how rich you are compared to the rest of the world. I'm in the top 13%. The next time you go to fill up hour car with gas, think that when you pull that nozzle out of the holder, you are pulling a cob of corn out of the mouth of someone who is hungry.
The big problem with the whole thing is that like many things in the US, the consumer will be distanced from the consequence of their consumption so that the consumer doesn't see the harm. I really think we need to get rid of that practice. How much would it influence your choices if you could see the landfills and the pollution and the division of wealth that come from our consumption? I think that it would affect many people greatly, but people don't want to worry about it (and the companies that produce stuff certainly don't want you thinking of it). It's that separation that keeps us making consumption choices that are bad for the environment and bad for other people.
Did I miss something on this, like I did with the China thing? I don't think so, but let me know if you disagree.