Seeing your old stomping grounds is fun. So is re-stomping with old friends. This weekend Scott and I went to Bellingham, and Sarah went to Seattle. We all had fun, including Michelle, who stayed home and painted the wall. Its green, and looks good. It turns out she’s more productive when I’m gone. I guess I’ll have to go away more.
Michelle and I hit the Lucky Lab tonight for their salad & pie special. She had read an article about organic foods in Newsweek, and we discussed it. Like most stuff in Newsweek, there was no answer, so we were left to discuss. We both know there are benefits to both ways of producing foods, and I’ve probably heard all the social things already. We discussed the physics of it (what I argued for) and the economics (what she defended).
Her argument: Organic foods may be better for you, but there is no conclusive proof. Organic growers compete with traditional growers, and guess which kind of food people can afford. Herbacides and Pesticides are known to be safe. The population of the world is growing…. Her arguments were generally devil’s advocate arguments, but she in law school. She has popular opinion on her side, as well as scientific evidence and economic proof.
My argument: feritilizers, pesticides, harvesting & shipping all depend on fossil fuels. Our (American) culture dictates that there is an endless supply of energy, our source of which is predominantly the result of prehistoric biomass. (How will big oil have a source if we remove all the biomass from the forest before it can become oil?… Oh wait, there I go thinking long term again.) We ignore the laws of thermodynamics (the amount of energy in the universe is constant, and the changing of matter from one form to another results in loss of potential energy) because we will always have enough petroleum. The way that agriculture currently works is to create large qualtities of genetically similar food that require lots of chemical attendants, machines for harvest, refinining & transportation, then we can eat them. Blah blah blah… the gist of my argument is that organic foods make sense from a physical science standpoint because we do have physical limits to energy sources like petroleum, but no seeming end to supply of labor, which is what replaces herbicides, distrobution, etc. in a traditional farming system. There was something about economics being a pseudo-science, but it must not be important now, because I’m tired. I’ll continue later. Maybe not here though.
Yesterday was the first day of classes. It was crazy. I worked for 9 hours straight on computers. Guess why I didn’t post last night?
This weekend was my birthday. We played trivial pursuit, watched some of the second season of the Simpsons, ate pizza, and drank a variety of beers. Scott got be a belgian named Golden Drak. It was, like many Belgian beers, tetering on the line between greatness and fermentation run amok. It was good though, and packed quite a punch. Later I tried the last remaining barley wine I made a year ago. It had gone a bit feral. I jokingly renamed it a belgian. Anyway, after tasting the Drak and my ‘belgian’, I thought I had made a damn good beer. Too bad I had used most of it to boil bratwurst with.
Yesterday I presented the new features of WebCT 3.8 for the Distance Learning faculty. I had been so busy that I hadn’t really realized how dangerous it could be to mention the next upgrade, but it seemed well received.
Our Multimedia specialist displayed his History of Rock & Roll class, which used Flash MX. It was really cool, and there was a clip of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show. All the teachers had seen it live. The three of us who were trainers, wouldn’t be born for several years. I suddenly felt really young. I was the age of most of these instructor’s children. I guess it makes sense, since your children are often the ones who teach you how to use your computer.
School starts in a few days. Its quite hectic. I love teachers, but they put stuff off to the last minute, just like me. Its almost disappointing, but I guess it means even I could someday be teacher. excellent…
freed.dyndns.org has had unreasonable amounts of downtime. I tried to install PHP again, and it killed apache. A full re-install was required, and I haven’t had time. Thank goodness no one relies on me.
My dad came down to Portland, and we went to Mt. Angel’s Oktoberfest. It was quite cool, and Optimator on tap is wonderful. I got hit in the eye by a Praying Mantis that was flying around inside the beirgarten, and Sarah commented on what luck I must have.
Today Scott, my dad and I climbed King Mt. above the Wilson River. It was supposed to be just a hike, but my notorious lack of activity planning forced us to climb 2500′ in 2.5 miles. It was a nice climb, and the view of the Coastal range was gorgeous. Then we had dinner at the Kennedy School, and hot tubbed. The specialty was a Nut Brown ale that was excellent. Better than any Newcastle you can buy here. It was fun. Obviously uptime wasn’t too much of a concern.
I finally finished sorting all the Mp3s that were trashed by a beta IDv3 tag editor. It placed all my tracks in the trash…etc. Now they’re back. It only took a couple dozen hours or so…
I’ve been working with Sendmail, and its a pain. But I’ve got my webmail client up, and I can send mail, but I’m not receiving from external hosts. I’m sure I’ll figure it out soon enough.