Remembering the Oklahoma City Bombing 20 Years Later

20 years ago, the Oklahoma bombing took place. I was working at Penterra (petroleum brokerage) in Kansas City at the time and we had a live news feed. As soon as it hit, oil prices started to climb, and speculation immediately went to “Arab Terrorist”. Turns out it was white American asshole(s). 

A year or so later, I went there (OKC) for business and stood outside that building, still as it was, but fenced off with toys and stuffed animals fastened to the wall. The enormity of that bomb was evident in a way that all the media coverage did not convey. It was heart breaking.

Later the same day, I went to the grocery in town. The woman ringing me up asked where I was from ( my Michigan accent), mentioned the site and asked if I had seen it. I said yes, and it had hit me harder than I thought. I choked up, and she started to cry a little. She took my hand, apologized for crying and told me to enjoy the rest of my visit. 

The cart kid walked near me as I left and said “she lost her granddaughter in the bombing” and walked past me. 

How you push past things like that is beyond me, but, at some point today, a minute of reflection on that event and who now surrounds you is a minute well spent. 

In a blink it can all change. 

All the good domain names have long been taken…

What is left...

After a lousy week at work, where progress was made and is being made…err…I digress…I spent some time thinking about again formalizing my consulting business as a domain, web tie in, etc. After searching the first 15 or so I came up with, learning they had all been taken, I started just popping in silly things, finding that many of THOSE were registered…This one was not.

I do not know if it is possible for a brain to ache like a knee or back, but I am pretty sure my brain aches. As does my knee. Older is not good in many ways. If I get another ache or pain, do I get to hang a special license plate on my ass? “Michigan Historical Human”…

Today, a jackass in a Super Duty Ford Diesel was in front of me with a ‘I love my huge carbon footprint’ sticker on the tailgate. Now, I love trucks, but there is no need to be a dick about it.

Pre-sweetener tea is for losers. 😛 ….you know who you are.

Halo Reach is a hell of a lot of fun, mostly because it makes my son and I laugh our butts off by offing each other in silly ways.  The new graphics are not bad either.

Guster is playing the Royal Oak Music Theater soon. No fucking seats…and by that, I mean, there are tickets, but there are NO FUCKING seats. Standing. All night. Guess where I am not going?

Yom Kippur makes me miss my friend in Israel.

I am amazed at how many people run network wire and do not understand that if you cut the sheathing, the copper ( an excellent conductor) becomes a BIG FUCKING ANTENNA and bleeds shit onto your network.

Camera Lens’ confuse me. I am a 28 ish mm wide, but I also want a 300mm F4 prime with a 1.6 III extender. I don’t know why, I mean I do,  but I am having DREAMS about camera lens’ at night.

My dog pissed me off this week by eating an entire loaf of organic $4 a loaf bread off the counter as it thawed, but I still love him. He is cute as hell and makes me smile.

Dear NFL, Fuck you. You have ruined the game. The Lions call was just a brutal reminder to me of why I have backed off so hard on the religion of football. I can’t stand it anymore. too many flag pulls and stoppages of play. It is like watching 2 marching bands perform for 4 hours, playing one song, one measure at a time with a lunch break in between each measure. Between this and the perfect game boner by the MLB refs, I am starting to think organized sports refs are in cahoots with Bin Laden.

Seeing the big picture by getting small.

Last Monday was spent at a botanical garden in Ann Arbor.

Here, I tried out my new Opteka extension tubes, which all my camera to get even tighter shots on small things.

I started first by trying to focus on the small minds of the Republican media, but even the mighty Canon 7D with a nice 1.8 lens could not see anything worth discussing there, so I instead went on to flowers…simple, awesome, intricate flowers…I am not there yet as a macro photographer, maybe I will never get there, but the first day of the journey left me excited, exhausted and with a couple dozen pics that I was reasonably proud of. This is not really one of them, but, I liked the color. Deal with it..:)

Hell week, otherwise known as the first week of school is over, I survived without being lynched, made progress in some ways, and was sad in others because the cost of said progress was given at the expense of something more progressive than what replaced it…Ce la vie.

One day, I may get to make the decisions, and then, I will listen to the smart people around me when they tell me what they need to be effective at their jobs rather than choosing what I like most and jamming it down their throats.

The orchard continues to grow, the growers, pickers and eaters are happy and productive, and we are now damned to a beet farm, less the humor of Dwight and his idiot brother. I look longingly back at the Orchard taking little solace at my small grove at home. Now, it serves primarily as a reminder of the beets I have to eat and tend at work.

The $100 Insulin Pump

We have had the $100 laptop.

Cell phones are damn near free and contain INCREDIBLE levels of electronics and tech.

Why can I not get an insulin pump for my 2 diabetic boys for $100? I am not believing the technology is not there to support that price point. A week ago, I watched a ton of TED conferences, and since I can’t speak at TED ( yet), my dream idea for the world right now is the $100 insulin pump.

8% of ALL Americans are Diabetic, either Type 1 or Type 2. There are dramatic differences in the two main types (there are subtypes of each), but the main thing is, Type 1 is an autoimmune disease, Type 2 is typically a lifestyle disease ( overweight, diet, etc). the risks for each health wise, and the costs of dealing with it are similar.

An Insulin Pump is in effect a robotic pancreas. The user has to learn to calibrate it to his or her metabolism and diet, but a pump is THE most effective way to keep diabetes under control for most sufferers, which in turn lowers their short and long term health risks and costs. Insulin Pumps currently cost between $3500 to roughly $8000, and few insurers will cover this cost. They are not only expensive to purchase, but they are expensive to replace.They seem rather delicate given our ability to make phones that can survive hammer impacts and immersion in water. Unless I am missing something, an insulin pump is nothing more than a fluid delivery systems with a digital control interface on it, and a flow that is calibrated by the interface.  If this were a Nintendo Controller, there would be 20 knockoffs at Target for $29.99. Is the cost liability? Patents? I do not care. I want a $100 insulin pump. And, just in case you are a smart ass, I want one that EXCEEDS the capabilities of the current top models, is weather proof, shock proof, and generally ruggedized, with a USB interface on it. If you know some one who can build one, send them this post.

Where is John Lennon Google logo?

Maybe they are doing it for his birthday…but, many people consider today a rather solemn one, remembering the day we lost our first Beatle. I fully expected a special ‘Imagine’ logo or something today from Google…

My favorite John Lyric, from Beautiful Boy is “life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”. I hear that, this week especially.

Yakking up things after Thanks-taking

Bloated? Pace yourself? Failed miserably? Yes, I did all three, but, I had the BEST Pumpkin Pie I have ever had thanks to SJ.

Sitting around later, expending as little energy and movement as possible, I remembered something that I had strong intent about years ago. Building my own kayak from a kit. I might actually entertain the idea again. I recently priced the DEMO of a boat my son and I paddled on DEMO over the summer, and it was $1600, weighs 100 pounds empty, and might be prone to warping/bowing. Chesapeake Light Craft make very nice kits. I used to know them, and I believe Pygmy ( back in 3 seconds via google..) …yep..them…So, the linked boat, that is the one I am thinking about, especially after finding an article on how to make numerous cheap clams to hold the pieces together while things set up. Could be interesting, and fun. Now to find the money.

Jimmy Carter has a degree in Physics, yet….

Settle down. Obama won. Most people I know are happy, the others are waiting to start the “see-see, I told you he would/wouldn’t BS.” Thinking about how Bush may be our generations Nixon (Nixon was a WAY smarter man) and Obama might fit as Carter ( Ford does not really count, as he was the Dan Quayle to Nixon, i.e. a non-entity). My hope is that Obama beats all expectations. Jimmy Carter is one of the smartest Presidents we have had. Yet,  in most circles, his Presidency is considered an abject failure, even though he accomplished some very visionary things during his term. He continues to work tirelessly on a variety of admirable things and occasionally drops a book on us that gets everyone talking about tough subjects.

My hope is, Obama can out think and bridge things politically that Carter was not able to do, and Obama can do it with enough velocity to carry him into an even more successful 2nd term. I have not in my adult life been truly excited for a man to take office. Even as I draw this comparison to another ex President that I personally admire greatly but many cannot stand, I am so full of opitmism about Obama that I cannot see how he will fail unless WE fail him.

Digital Camera Envy

Jack and Travis get air

Jack and Travis get air

~~ Last weekend, SJ and I were sorting through pictures to find ones to hang in the newly painted living room. I was struck by how many BAD prints from film I had, all of which I paid to get developed from film. Out of focus, overdeveloped, underdeveloped, blurry, etc. It really reminded me how much I love my digital cameras. I owned an Apple Quicktake 100 when they came out originally, but it was far short of film, and very limited, so I never did much with it. I later bought an Agfa 640×480 digital, that I still have some shots that came out OK. the first decent camera, one that made me ditch film, was the little Vivitar 2.1 mpix that I bought before a trip to NorCal, then a Nikon CoolPix 4300 (4.3 mpix) . After that one, I was done with film forever. I now have an older Canon a620 7.1 that takes amazing pictures. SJ has a Nikon D40x SLR that takes even more amazing pictures. Yet, I find myself wanting either a Canon G9 (Yes I know the G10 is out) or the Panasonic LX3. I find myself wondering why, cause the shots taken with either of the two cameras I can use are amazing, limited only by my ability to be ready to shoot and frame the picture better. So, I rationalize. I want the ability to   video, which both of the new cameras do. I want the ability to shoot RAW,   do. I want a better macro focus, one that is idiot proof so I can get better close shots. I really need Noel to upgrade his G9 so he will sell me his cheap (hint hint). No matter, any one reading this who is still using film, just get digital, even the cheapest thing will do. Digital frees you to take a zillion pics, dump the ones that suck ( 90% of mine do) but what is left are probably some of the best pictures you will ever take.