Yer’ Gonna Die!

The internet has certainly improved lives in small, unmeasurable ways. But thanks to quizzes like The Death Test, you can finally quantify the value of the internet in a very useful number – the day you will die. And to a lesser extent, the chances of what might kill you.

I’m happy to report I’ll be dying on June 17th, 2053.

Chances are considerable that I’ll die from cancer, a heart attack, or some complications due to electrolysis. There’s a lesser chance that I might die from alcoholism, alien abduction, or horrible accident, but my money is on cancer.Thanks to this test, I’ve learned that hairy nipples is actually an terminal ailment.

Spring 2004 Photo Montage

spring 2004 montage

I must be going image crazy or something, but here’s another. Its just a combination of images from around the yard marking that spring is here. The first one is of a hatched mason bee, the second is of a flower named something like berberia, the third is buttercup barley (yes, they’re daffodils, I know), the fourth is a knap weed shoot, and the fifth is some crocuses.

Towel Frog

towel_frog (7k image)

While looking for bathroom floor towels this weekend at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, I rearanged a pile of towels that were on sale to make a friendly amphibious face. Sadly, its in the back corner, so I doubt anyone will see it. So I took a phone picture. This thing comes in handy.

Anyone have captions for the frog?

Ford gives up, licenses Toyota hybrid technology

Ford announced today that it would be licensing Toyota’s hybrid technology for use in its Escape and other vehicles. This is good news for Toyota, but a very large failure on Ford’s part.

Many of the large auto manufacturers have been arguing against higher emission standards claiming that it was too difficult to improve auto emissions in such a short period of time. I feel that this is all bullshit. Licensing Toyota’s hybrid engine technology is just another cop out on Ford’s part, who should have both the R&D and intelligence to create improved technology. Instead, it appears that all of their R&D has gone in to making the F-150 trucks appear taller, the Explorer more massive, and the profit margin on the Expedition higher ($15,000 per vehicle).

My disappointment stems from a belief that higher environmental standards will incite rapid technological change. Though harboring some Luddite tendencies, I believe that we’re quite ingenious, and are fully capable of engineering to the task. We’ve been making efficient engines for 2 decades, so we’ve got a fair number of examples to work from.

Unless Ford has some big plans for a post-hybrid engine, its shooting itself in the foot. Or maybe a better example; its making a giant SUV that will decapitate the passengers in its hybrid vehicles.

Spring brings labor

With two unusually sunny days in a row, Michelle and I were able to fit in some yard work. She ditched out early to “study” for her ethics exam, but I managed to get a drastic pruning in on some long neglected shrubs. If they die, well, no loss. If they live, they deserve it.

I did some more trimming during lunch today, and my allergies have flared up. Now I’m a zombie of sorts. I figure it was the Douglas Fir, but it may have been the soil, or rotting leaves, or compost. Regardless, I’m glad spring is here.

Old Man Tigger

This morning I got up to study math. It was quiet in the house, Tigger was curled up on the chair. The chair, normally a beige canvas material, was dingy from contact with the animal. The surface of the coffee table, couch, antique dining table & sideboard, and the kitchen counter were all lightly stuccoed with muddy paw prints and cat hair. The statistics review sheets I had laid out were similarly smeared as if some effort to make a swallow’s nest had been attempted. I gave Tigger a menacing glance, but he was asleep. I don’t like cats, especially indoor/outdoor farts like Tigger. If I ever carry on like he does, I get in trouble. He gets cream, or snacks.

I guess it works out though, because I have a web site, and he can’t read.

Wedding bells in Portland

On the heels of a few other localities, Multnomah County has begun issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The county’s attorney’s position: “we can’t legally stop them.”

I feel that marriage is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done, and I’m glad our county has joined others in allowing committed and loving couples to enter into this relationship. Congratulations.