A Grand Experiment

May 12, 2008 at 6:26 pm (Computers, Environment, Family, Travel)

My two fearless readers: I am about to request your participation in an experiment so thrilling, so dangerous, that I would not be surprised at all if you disowned me at the very first mention of it. Yes, I need your help testing… my geotagging.

“Your what?” you might say.

“My geotagging,” I would calmly reply, only the fires of anticipation glowing in my eyes to display my real excitement.
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I Am a Filthy Liar

April 30, 2008 at 6:26 pm (Education, Environment, Family, Uncategorized)

So, just days after my musings about a post-apocalyptic future and my own current and future inability to survive in those conditions, on account of a lack of time to invest in such skills, I find myself compelled to eat at least a little bit of crow. Luckily, it is still fairly warm, which makes it less offensive than it might otherwise be. :o) Behold: Read the rest of this entry »

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Survival of the Poorest

April 20, 2008 at 6:04 pm (Comics, Economics, Education, Environment, History, Horror, Wine)

I was thinking today about what would happen to our society if we ran out of oil, and therefore could not afford to transport food between cities, states and nations the way that we currently do, and it occurred to me that the wealthiest people in the world, those inhabitants of the Western Hemisphere who have embraced the economic promise of cities and the specialization of labor, will be the group most affected, and hardest hit, by said (still hopefully hypothetical) collapse. After all, the bulk of the world’s population is much closer to the land than your average Angelino, and is either capable of, or knows people who are capable of, large-scale agriculture, animal husbandry, and other activities associated with pre-industrial human life. It’s only us city-slickers, who are used to our frozen pizzas and two-dollar lattes, who will find ourselves suddenly without food when the crash comes. Although that’s kind of terrifying, since I am one of those city-slickers, it’s also kind of heartening, since it means that, whatever happens to the population of North America, humanity will almost certainly survive and prosper somewhere else, whether it be Africa, Asia, Australia or elsewhere.
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Guilt-Free (or, at least, reduced)

April 5, 2008 at 8:49 pm (Economics, Environment, Family)

With the baby on the way, Heather and I are talking about getting a second car. I’ve resisted getting a second car for years, for a number of reasons, foremost being that I just don’t want to deal with the darn thing. I hate having to worry about maintenance, cleanliness, parking (especially in our neighborhood). On top of that, there’s the cost: Both the cost of the car and the high (and ever rising) cost of gas. As most of you know, I’m rather frugal (okay, I’m a cheap bastard), so dropping thousands on a car is not something I view with glee. Finally, there are the environmental benefits of not owning another car. I walk to the bus stop five days a week, and I like doing it. I like not contributing to global warming, and I like the exercise. It means I can’t stay late at school or party with my friends often, but I spin that as an additional savings, in both time and money. I’ve built a whole life around not owning a car, and I’m comfortable in it.
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Santa Cruz Island

October 12, 2007 at 5:38 pm (Diving, Environment, Travel, Writing)

(I originally wrote this in mid-July, and just never got around to revising and posting it. So, here it is, months late!)

According to the official National Parks’ reservation website, Santa Cruz Island has campsites set aside for walk-ins.

Now, that may not seem odd to you at first. After all, doesn’t every national park have some campsites set aside for reservations, and others available on a first-come, first-serve basis? Sure. But other national parks aren’t, well, islands. Getting to Santa Cruz requires a one-hour boat ride from Ventura Harbor that sets you back $60. This isn’t really the kind of thing that you just do on a lark, hoping they’ll have space for you. Getting out to the island isn’t a jaunt, it’s an investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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An Inconvenient Truth

February 27, 2007 at 10:09 pm (Education, Environment, General)

So, Heather and I finally saw An Inconvenient Truth. I know, I know, we’re about two years too late to the party, but I swear I had a good reason. I mean, I’m already something of an environmentalist. I walk a mile to and from the bus stop five days a week and take a bus to and from UCLA. The only time I get a ride is if someone is already going that way. Frankly, I like the walk. It’s valuable “me time.” I also try to keep unnecessary lights off. I’m thinking pretty hard right now, and I can’t think of any other major environmental “charges” that I run up. And Heather never seemed too worried about the environment, but for the sake of our marriage, I didn’t want to push her, so I figured we didn’t need to see it. Anyway, it was a documentary. I mean, how good could it really be? Read the rest of this entry »

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