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2005 (old posts, page 2)

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Updating the resume

The time has come to update my resume (no big changes on the horizon, however) and it's a bit embarrasing to have to use the Wayback Machine�to refer back to my site in May 2001 to find the only remaining copy of my CV. Maybe I should try to keep this one more up to date.

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Off to the bookstore

Apparently there's something to do with Harry Potter happening today and we have to go to the bookstore at 8am. It looks like I'm a bit behind having only just met Victor Krum.

Update: Book stores open at 9am on Saturdays.

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Life of Pi

Katie has just finished reading the 'Life of Pi' and we're at an impasse around its symbolism and underlying meaning. Google provides little in the way of assistance; my suspicion being that folks are discouraged from stating their own interpretation given the slating the book received by the world of professional reviewers. I enjoyed the text when I first read it and�will probably�re-read it fairly soon, hopefully with my take on it to follow.

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Farewell, noble vacation

Ugh. It really didn't take long for the 'back from vacation' feeling to fade to nothing more than a fleeting memory. Still, a week of vacation without travelling anywhere (a first!) is highly recommended.

Coming back to a mailbox with over 6000 new unread items from a four day week, it was clearly time to unjoin some distribution lists. A week without mail was bliss. I think I'll try peaceful ignorance over sheer volume for a while.

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Alone in the Wilderness

For some time now, Anne has been reminding me to watch Alone in the Wilderness. I recorded it on KCTS last night and have just been captivated while watching it. It's a truly remarkable tale of a man, Dick Proenneke, who sets out to spend a year in Alaska taking just a few bare essentials and a movie camera. Quoth the web site:

To live in a pristine land unchanged by man... to roam a wilderness through which few other humans have passed... to choose an idyllic site, cut trees and build a log cabin... to be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what is needed from materials available... to be not at odds with the world, but content with one's own thoughts and company... Thousands have had such dreams, but Dick Proenneke lived them. He found a place, built a cabin, and stayed to become part of the country. This video "Alone in the Wilderness" is a simple account of the day-to-day explorations and activities he carried out alone, and the constant chain of nature's events that kept him company.

Taking just a few tool heads (no handles - plenty of wood about), he steadily builds out a comfortable cabin to live in. On a big 15' by 20' foundation, walls of spruce logs and some very creative carpentry form a very impressive homestead. Catching fish, hiking through the snow and a life of total solitude paints a truly remarkable of one man's expedition into the back of beyond. Captivating viewing, but exercise caution if you get 'ideas' watching television like this.

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London bombings

I've just arrived back in town from an overnight solo camping trip in the back of beyond to some rather shocking news from reality. The concern that's been lurking since 9/11 has been realized with four bombings in Central London. 38 killed so far with hundreds injured. My condolences to anyone affected by this act.

It's bittersweet to learn at the same time that yesterday London won the bid for the 2012 Olympics. Well done to all invovled in making that happen. As Tony says, "we shall prevail and they shall not"�and I have confidence that the people of London will continue on with firm resolve.

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Camping at Summit Lake

From Seattle it's almost too easy to take a drive and hit wilderness. Taking Highway 410 out to Buckley and then Highway 165 to just before the Carbon Glacier entrance to Mt Rainier NP, a longish gravel road crosses the Carbon River and heads up to the trailhead. It's probably less than three miles of steady grade which rises some 1000 ft to up to the lake which sits at 5450 ft.

My hike up was easy although rather moist with all the humidity and dense fog. I scouted around the lake for a while and found a clearing in the woods on the north shore just a few feet from the lake edge. By the time I'd set up camp, the fog had dropped quickly and with zero visibility across the lake and a mix of cold wind and spits of rain. I made some tea and spent a while fishing, but the temperature was just a little to low for comfort. As night fell, it became pretty clear that I was the only human being within miles and the silence was almost scary. Mixed animal noises and a spattering of rain did little to harm a fantastic night of sleep in the cold mountain air. The fog had cleared by morning to give a great view of Rainier over the lake so I climbed the extra half mile up to the real summit which looked out in all directions to a rather fantastic view.

No problems with the hike down and drive back into town aside from the news coming out of London. As an�escape, it was almost perfect. Highly recommended.

Pictures of Summit Lake

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Podcasting comes of age, but will it stick?

Seen recently in some Mefi comments: podcasting: cb radio without the RF.

I've been quietly downloading podcasts and not listening to them for a good 10 months now. Interestingly, this is one area where the technology is with, if not beyond, the ideas - there's no 'one day portable players will be able to...' excuse here; a music player or recent cell phone works just fine. The problem, to my mind, is the content that's out there. Sure, it can be entertaining to listen to a range of characters putting together their own radio shows, but I'm not finding myself that bored just yet. Half an hour of NPR in the morning is about all I can fit into my day. But maybe that's just me.

Of course, perspectives change. It's good to see the beeb jumping on board with a bunch of Radio 4 programs now available as download. I can listen to BBC radio instead of NPR without having the morning-shows-in-the-evening dilemma due to the�8 hour difference. Bonus points for freeing us poor listeners from RealPlayer too.