Wednesday, December 22, 2004

This year at work we had a "Decorate Your Door" contest. This is my entry. Click to see more.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Variable
anytime of the day...night
near sleep or deep in a task
standing in any picture my eyes make
today I stared
frozen
as I heard what could have been
your cry
except I never heard it.
I guess I meant to say
I felt it.
This year I didn't get out your things.
I passed my hand over them.
knowing it all so completely I can
create it from my own head.
never
never before has such a weight existed
one that is held and lifted to my chest
everyday.
I laid down
with the weight and rested
these last few days.
held you to myself.
Adrienne
I few pictures from winter solstice celebrations so far

Friday, December 17, 2004

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Day 2 Got up before the sun today, which isn?t hard since it didn?t come up until about 7:30 and even then stayed gray and threatened rain. Eventually it tired of threatening and did rain. Cold and intermittent. Before I go much further I think I must confess, I love France. At the very least I love the experience I?m having here. I can?t wait to take Adrienne down some of these streets so I can see the look on her face. So, let?s see, ah yes?an indifferent complimentary breakfast and then a cab ride to the Airbus facility in Toulouse. The streets here are something. ?Paris is the same only much much bigger?, Rob says. I can imagine living here the better part of your life and still being surprised and occasionally lost. Narrow and tall, and NONE of them are straight but instead wander this way and that, turn back on themselves, jump with surprise over ancient bridges, and corner old brick structures that have long since lost relevance and in every corner, yes, EVERY corner there is something interesting to see, something?well?foreign. . The old brick (and new brick that was made to look old) are slick and wet to my cheap dress shoes so I walk carefully on a canvas painted with neon from still closed shops. The taxi waits, so does Airbus. Big complexes, lots of efficient looking serious, but friendly people. Seminars conducted by people to whom English is obviously a second language, but even then the intelligence is evident. At the company sponsored lunch in one of the buildings on site (after a quick walk in invigorating (<-this is BS it?s COLD) rain) we are offered some cold cuts of beef, salted salmon, proscuitto, string beans, water or wine. Yeah wine. In a little bottle like a soda with a screw top. Of course I chose the wine asking myself how I could possibly do otherwise, and it?s actually not bad. Then it?s back to contracts, logistics, etc and an early getaway. We take a quick walk to the building where the Airbus A320?s are assembled and peer through the windows. Airplanes are big. They are getting ready for the roll out next month of the A380. The biggest airplane you ever need to know about. The presidents of the most of the participating nations will be there. We roll back to the rooms to do a little work then at 7:00 we make our way out to get dinner. Tip: don?t bother trying to get dinner in Toulouse until 7:00. Nobody but McDonalds is serving dinner. At 7:05 you have to wait for a seat. Plan accordingly. At first we wander around looking for an Italian place since I hace a hankering for pasta. Thank goodness we couldn?t find one. We actually wandered back into the Hotel (Crown Plaza - Toulouse) and ask the people at the front desk if there are any Italian places around. ?Ehhhh, no?, she says, ?But, if you want to try some authentic French cuisine there is a place a couple blocks from here?. So she draws us a map and we head back out into a very light, very cold rain. The restaurant is called ?The Bon Vivre? and they specialize in local French cuisine and I had some of the best food I?ve had in a long time. The place looks fairly ordinary actually, but at 7:00 we were one of the first people in there. From 7:05 to 11:00 when it closes it was packed with be-sweatered, be-scarved smoking French folks. I started with a duck pate that is probably one of the top 10 yummiest things I?ve ever eaten in my life. Seriously. It?s not something I would ordinarily order, but I find I have pretty good luck when I ask the server what their favorite is. We complemented it with a wonderfully strong bottle of wine from this area of France. Chateau tour boisee - Minervois 2003. My main course was a traditionally prepared rabbit dish, 1 leg, half breast and liver, smothered in spices and garlic. Fairly tender and delicious, it was accompanied by some garlic potatoes and and cheesy rice dish. We were in a hurry since Rob had had the idea to go see the ballet that was performing in the theater in the square across from our hotel, so we promised the owner we?d be back for dessert after the ballet and headed out into the rain. We arrived about 5 minutes late, but managed to squeeze in with some others to sit in some seats with some other late folks and catch the first part of a touring tropp from Italy. The ticket says Casse Noisette was the name of the ballet. The music was by Tchaikovsky and I did recognize the sugar plum fairy dance thingy. Not sure if this was a compilation or the source of this piece, but the performances were very good. Now I?m expert on ballet, but I did very much enjoy watching the athleticism and beauty of these performers. My favorite parts of course for those of you that know me where the ones with lots of identically dressed ballerinas doing the same thing. Lots of anything gets abstracted to me and becomes art. Second act comes and we get the usher to kick some young women out of our seats so we can sit in the center to watch the second act which included the main ballerina falling into a dream with all these characters dancing around. I enjoyed it. Afterwards we headed quickly back to the Le Bon Vivre for our desserts and a cup of tea. I had the banana baked in some kind of Cognac sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I enjoyed that too, and now I?m back in my room typing this up preparing to call my family and retire to bed. A wonderful day. I apologize for the lack of pictures, there just hasn?t been time. Good night.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Well, I've done it. I'm sitting in my room inthe center of downtown Toulouse, France. I'm sitting in my room groovin' on a salad with duck and duck pate, and a whole smackerel of Prawns (heads and all) and garlic mashed potatoes. Washed down with a fairly smooth French white wine. The restaraunt we ate at is about 100' to my left in this picture and our hotel is another 100' feet in front of me. So far a couple of things: 1. I flew over the majority of the United States in the dark, which seemed strangely appropriate to me. A country in the dark... 2. Flew over Quebec in the dark to. It was fun spotting where the water was and the City wasn't based on ly on the city lights. 3. Watched the sun come up over the Atlantic this morning. Essentially a sea of very uniform white clouds. 4. I entered Europe over the Irish Island. Galloway bay to be exact (the plane, a Boeing 747-400) has a contantly updated gps system the kept us blissfully full of information, such as land speed, elevation, outside temperature, estimated arrival time, etc...) The reason why Galloway Bay is important is that is the song Adrienne lie to sing Conrad to sleep. I can confirm for those of you that were concerned that Ireland is still green. 5. The airport at Amsterdam is very nice. I didn't get to get out of it to see anything since I was a little pressed on the transfer and exhausted from no sleep. 6. Downtown Toulouse is beautiful. Narrow winding streets with shops, old stone, old wood, old brick, and filled with beautiful French folk (it is essentially a college town). I can also confirm that although they are very busy, every interaction I've had with the natives has been very friendly. I didn't get time to see much since I'm so tired and we got in late. Tomorrow it's off to work. I can't wait to get back and go shopping for my family. In the words of our English sales rep who is serving as my escort, cheers. e.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Simply put. The llama song.
mfarajian: mike does what? mfarajian: oh. mfarajian: c# or vb? (or pascal.net or... or....) mfarajian: DateTime birthDate = DateTime.Parse( stringOfBirthDate ); TimeSpan span = DateTime.Now - birthDate; int age = span.Years; mfarajian: (off the top of my head - should be correct) feliciaelena: interesting mfarajian: interesting "Good"? or interesting "How nerdy"? or... or.... entropyhed: lol entropyhed: ah mikey entropyhed: froggie is the wrong nickname for you entropyhed: should be something with more random frenetic energy ;)chaos_mine: yeah, i'm there... silly how vb .net doesn't have a built in function that can subtract system.date from a past date to give you accurate info... feliciaelena: interesting as in...how poetic feliciaelena: I read the code as a sort disjointed haiku entropyhed: ...english majors... feliciaelena: i know...such freaks we are;) chaos_mine: I hear no arguments on this side of the monitor feliciaelena: Date. Time. Birthdate. Parse. entropyhed: 5 feliciaelena: Time span equals Date Time Now entropyhed: 7 feliciaelena: Birthdate. Age spans years. entropyhed: 5 entropyhed: very nice feliciaelena: ::bows::

SMCNS

Monday, November 01, 2004

Conrad's choice this year on all our costumes. You see this right friends! This is not some kind of internet fraud. Adrienne is dressed as a fairy. Make sure you download these pictures!
Steve and Sandy very generously invited us down to their home by the sea (this is the only time Conrad sat down) and while Adrienne and Sandy subjected themselves to the horror of a day spa, shopping, deep tissue massages, etc.. Steve, Conrad and I headed down to the pier for some sea side fun. Conrad had an absolute blast as you can see from the pictures, but I think my high light came when the teenage, slacker ferris wheel operator, in a moment of greatness stopped the ferris wheel with us at the very top so we could watch the sun disappear into the Pacific Ocean. From there it was off to Steve and Sandy's favorite sushi joint where we ate a ridiculous amount of very yummy sushi. What a day!
Adrienne surprised me for our anniversary this year by tracking down the piper that played at our wedding. He showed up on our driveway and played a number of songs for us, including the song he played for Adrienne as she walked down the aisle... We lost track of him after our wedding, but Adrienne through some diligent searching (and his new website) was able to track him down. We were lucky to find him through our friend Joe and look forward to having him play and attend our 10 year anniversary party next year.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Last weekend at the Los Angeles County Arboreteum they held a Gourd Festival. We went by picked up a membership and walked around. Many of the gourds were incredible. Many weren't, but we had a great time running around, feeding the peacocks and peahens.

Monday, October 18, 2004

We went to the pumpkin fair this weekend at Cal Poly then moved onto the bug fair. Had a great time!
On sunday I took a familiar old hike up to the falls in Monrovia Canyon. I've noticed a trait that seems to run through all of us Milliken's: when the weather gets bad, we head outside. The canyon was beautiful, still dripping from the nights rain and the occasionaly passing shower. The light wasn't great for taking pictures and I was playing around some with different settings. I', still kinda fascinated with nature closeups and patters.
Started off the weekend with a birthday bash for my sister in law Keely. Lotsa big food and hugs!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

This poster wishes to remain anonomous... "Your Eye's" I wait & wait but i am still denied the color of your eyes I dream every night of your eyes blue,brown,hazel green Why must i wait what have i done to make me wait I have asked for forgiveness but i still fill as if i am being punished for my sins but i still dream & can't wait to see the color of your eyes....
We just got back from our Oregon Vacation. Beautiful! Conrad is on his way to the top of this 3 story high sand dune...See more

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Devin, my nephew turns one!
We took Conrad to the Fair on Sunday. This picture is from the top of the very first ferris wheel Conrad had been on.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Conrad walked into the bathroom the other day while Adrienne was getting ready for the day. Put his finger to his lips to let Adrienne know she needed to be quiet, then slowly, deliberately put a series of letters and symbols on the counter...I...(heart)...U...2

Friday, September 17, 2004


Matthew's birthday party had this really cool inflatable water slide that conrad played on for about 4 hours straight...hehe

When Adrienne and I took the tour of Conrad's new pre-school we were both wigged out by how cute these little "potties" were.

Friday, September 10, 2004

We had this discussion yesterday in our chat room that got me thinking (I've edited liberally and changed some names to protect the innocent) person_x: the big question I've been asking xxx the past few weeks is: person_x: What is a terrorist? person_x: everyone seems willing to use it but no one can tell me what it actually means person_x: especially in the context of current public discourse That initial question quickly devolved into joking of course entropyhed: a terrorist is some one who comes into your house steals the uneaten flan and urinates in your beer person_y: "instigating factor isn't so much a 'behavior' as a spread"... person_x: they can ahve the beer...the flan though is grounds for war ;) evolvedskeptic: I'd say death penalty is too light for E's terrorists entropyhed: draw and quarter? evolvedskeptic: some form of torture mayb person_y: We could flay them slowly.... evolvedskeptic: pour ranch dressing up their noses, shove is some steak fries and leave 'em in a fire ant pit entropyhed: we could remove the top layer of skin from their feet and force them to walk across slat flats : person_x: eep! A check of the OED by our resident expert produced these definitions: evolvedskeptic: volume XVII, page 821 - OED evolvedskeptic: terrorist entropyhed: one who engages in terrorism? entropyhed: hehe person_y: Heheh. evolvedskeptic: 1. As a political term: a. Applied to the Jacobins and their agents and partisans in the French Revolution, esp. to those connected with the Revolutionary tribunals during the 'Reign of Terror' evolvedskeptic: (oh, the irony) entropyhed: at least that isn't obscure person_y: Gotta love the mob....not. evolvedskeptic: b. Any one who attempts to further his views by a system of coercive intimidation. person_y: Oh oh! That sounds like D's "small t terrorism". entropyhed: i haven't seen anything about flan, so I'm obliged to dismiss the OED as a hack job chaos_mine: hmm, so what your trying to say is that someone who terrorizes someone is a terrorist :) chaos_mine: or is it that a terrorist terrorizes evolvedskeptic: I'm still chuckling that an actual, capital 'T' Terrorist is a Frenchman :) chaos_mine: hehe, very appropriate though person_y: Man, that was a brutal time... person_x: those jacobites... person_x: you bring up an interesting point though person_x: if the OED points the finger at the french... person_x: who do the french think fits the definition? entropyhed: americans? evolvedskeptic: 1818 Herve Beauties of Paris II. 296 (Jod.) He assisted La Fayette in endeavouring to defend the king from the Terrorists. person_y: I don't think there are many "Jacobins" left... After the nobility was...shortened... And after they turned in on themselves a bit, I think the blood lust was sated somewhat. evolvedskeptic: 2. Dyslogistically: One who entertains, professes, or tries to awaken or spread a feeling of terror or alarm; an alarmist, a scaremonger. evolvedskeptic: 1805 W. Taylor in Monthly Mag. XIX. 570 Some book of the religious terroritsts, which intended to infuse the alarm of foul perdition. Later� entropyhed: 101073217709889664 evolvedskeptic: big number entropyhed: :) entropyhed: the first 7 digits speciiy the at&t network evolvedskeptic: or the FBI center? evolvedskeptic: :p entropyhed: is there a difference? evolvedskeptic: not any more entropyhed: oh no! I'M a terrorist! evolvedskeptic: oh, oh! entropyhed: ack! evolvedskeptic: [points finger] evolvedskeptic: oui entropyhed: [runs away] evolvedskeptic: oh! evolvedskeptic: I'm a Terrorist person_x: voila!~ person_x: je suis un petit rasoin evolvedskeptic: plus sa change, plus ce le mem chose person_x: me oui! person_x: ::starts looking confused evolvedskeptic: [tosses some water on her] person_x: J'ai besoin d'une attention m�dicale. person_x: Prenez-vous des beignets ? person_x: Je suis trop fatigu� pour le Fran�ais. person_x: and wih that...exit...stage right And what�s my point in all of this? The question lingered with me a bit and I stumbled across this series of 4 books that I think would go a long ways to explaining the terror, terrorist, terrorism zeitgeist. If I can find room in the budget I think I may pick them up. The Psychology of Terrorism

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

My Nephew Devin just keeps getting bigger, prolly cause he eats a scary amount of food. :)

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

On Sunday Kathleen and Jojo had us over for a beautiful and yummy dinner. Thanks again guys
Conrad turns 4 today. This image is from his party last Saturday. I love you son.

Finches at play in the fields of our home

Monday, August 30, 2004

this is an audio post - click to play
This weekend in my reading I ran across this series of questions in "Fire in the Belly" by Sam Keen: What do I really want? What brings me joy? Who am I when I dream? Why do I feel the way I do? What do I fear? Who has wounded me? Whom have I injured? How do I deal with guilt? Do I need to have enemies? How do I forgive? Whom and what will I love? How will I express my sexuality? Who are my people? My family? Where is my place? What is the source of my power? My self-esteem? What is sacred? Worthy of respect? Inviolable? For what, or whom would I sacrifice my time, my energy, my health, my life? What can I do to lessen the quantity of evil in the world? What are my gifts? What is my vocation? What must I do to die with a sense of completeness? What myth have I been (unconsiously) living? In what measure are my "values" mere prejudices, my duties blind committments to unexamined norms? What have I sacrificed to win the approval of others? To become "successful"? In what ways have I blinded myself, disowned my power, denied my potential? It's an excellent series of questions to start a Monday. It's an excellent series of questions to mark a beginning.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

mfarajian: hmm.... you left right after I said: "All Hail Satan And His Many Minions!!!!!" mfarajian: i assumed I offended you evolvedskeptic: I thought it was cuz I farted evolvedskeptic: dammit, you wouldn't have known that, this isn't voice chat evolvedskeptic: nm that last entropyhed: actually, if you can remember right i CAN initiate "voice" chat evolvedskeptic: [sits on his microphone] Ok....GO! entropyhed: but to truely appreciate that particular voice you should be here to witness the results of mediteranean chicken with oodles of garlic butterm hummus and taboulli mfarajian: why would i have expected bickler *woudln't* go there just now evolvedskeptic: I'll give you all a second to plug in yer subwoofers entropyhed: lol bruce_dirksen: But would it be any "nastier"? bruce_dirksen: Ack. I've been drawn in. bruce_dirksen: Oh the shame. bruce_dirksen: Quick -- retreat to lunch. evolvedskeptic: [looks fondly on what he started] evolvedskeptic: a perennial favorite mfarajian: to be sure, this is fart humor... a distinctively different thing than poop humor. evolvedskeptic: ah, a connoisseur

Monday, August 23, 2004

Flea found a couple of handy tools today. The first is a color wheel that translates to web colors. The second and wonderful while being almost completely useless is a tesselating alphabet. (Don't worry I had to look it up too, but if you click the link it's kinda self-explanatory.)

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Ran acros this article in the Sunday Los Angeles Times Opinion section and I loved it. He says what I've been thinking better than I could say it: Holy Terror Religion isn't the solution -- it's the problem By Sam Harris Sam Harris is the author of "The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason," published this month. He can be reached at www.samharris.org August 15, 2004 President Bush and the Republicans in the Senate have failed � for the moment � to bring the Constitution into conformity with Judeo-Christian teachings. But even if they had passed a bill calling for a constitutional ban on gay marriage, that would have been only a beginning. Leviticus 20:13 and the New Testament book of Romans reveal that the God of the Bible doesn't merely disapprove of homosexuality; he specifically says homosexuals should be killed: "If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death." God also instructs us to murder people who work on the Sabbath, along with adulterers and children who curse their parents. While they're at it, members of Congress might want to reconsider the 13th Amendment, because it turns out that God approves of slavery � unless a master beats his slave so severely that he loses an eye or teeth, in which case Exodus 21 tells us he must be freed. What should we conclude from all this? That whatever their import to people of faith, ancient religious texts shouldn't form the basis of social policy in the 21st century. The Bible was written at a time when people thought the Earth was flat, when the wheelbarrow was high tech. Are its teachings applicable to the challenges we now face as a global civilization? Consider the subject of stem-cell research. Many religious people, drawing from what they've heard from the pulpit, believe that 3-day-old embryos � which are microscopic collections of 150 cells the size of a pinhead � are fully endowed with human souls and, therefore, must be protected as people. But if we know anything at all about the neurology of sensory perception, we know that there is no reason to believe that embryos at this stage of development have the capacity to sense pain, to suffer or to experience death in any way at all. (There are, for comparison's sake, 100,000 cells in the brain of a fly.) These facts notwithstanding, our president and our leaders in Congress, many of them citing religious teachings, have decided to put the rights of undifferentiated cells before those of men and women suffering from spinal cord injuries, full-body burns, diabetes and Parkinson's disease. Of course, the Bible is not the only ancient text that casts a shadow over the present. A social policy based on the Koran poses even greater dangers. Koran 9:123 tells us it is the duty of every Muslim man to "make war on the infidels who dwell around you." Osama bin Laden may be despicable, but it is hard to argue that he isn't acting in accord with at least some of the teachings of the Koran. It is true that most Muslims seem inclined to ignore the Koran's solicitations to martyrdom and jihad, but we cannot overlook the fact that some are not so inclined and that some of them murder innocent people for religious reasons. The phrase "the war on terrorism" is a dangerous euphemism that obscures the true cause of our troubles, because we are currently at war with precisely a vision of life presented to Muslims in the Koran. Anyone who reads this text will find non-Muslims vilified on nearly every page. How can we possibly expect devout Muslims to happily share power with "the friends of Satan"? Why did 19 well-educated, middle-class men trade their lives for the privilege of killing thousands of our neighbors? Because they believed, on the authority of the Koran, that they would go straight to paradise for doing so. It is rare to find the behavior of human beings so easily explained. And yet, many of us are reluctant to accept this explanation. Religious faith is always, and everywhere, exonerated. It is now taboo in every corner of our culture to criticize a person's religious beliefs. Consequently, we are unable to even name, much less oppose, one of the most pervasive causes of human conflict. And the fact that there are very real and consequential differences between the major religious traditions is simply never discussed. Anyone who thinks that terrestrial concerns are the principal source of Muslim violence must explain why there are no Palestinian Christian suicide bombers. They too suffer the daily indignity of the Israeli occupation. Where, for that matter, are the Tibetan Buddhist suicide bombers? The Tibetans have suffered an occupation far more brutal. Where are the throngs of Tibetans ready to perpetrate suicidal atrocities against the Chinese? They do not exist. What is the difference that makes the difference? The difference lies in the specific tenets of Islam versus those of Buddhism and Christianity. There are now more people in our country who believe that the universe was created in six solar days than there were in Europe in the 14th century. In the eyes of most of the civilized world, the United States is now a rogue power � imperialist, inarticulate and retrograde in its religiosity. Our erstwhile allies are right not to trust our judgment. We elect leaders who squander time and money on issues like gay marriage, Janet Jackson's anatomy, Howard Stern's obscenities, marijuana use and a dozen other trifles lying at the heart of the Christian social agenda, while potentially catastrophic problems like nuclear proliferation and climate change go unresolved. We elected a president who believes the jury is still out on evolution and who rejects sound, scientific judgments on the environment, on medical research, on family planning and on HIV/AIDS prevention in the developing world. The consequence, as we saw in recent elections in Spain, is that people who feel misled and entrapped by our dogmatic and peremptory approach to foreign policy will be unable to recognize a common enemy, even when that enemy massacres hundreds of people in their nation's capital. It is time we recognize that religious beliefs have consequences. As a man believes, so he will act. Believe that you are a member of a chosen people, awash in the salacious exports of an evil culture that is turning your children away from God, believe that you will be rewarded with an eternity of unimaginable delights by dealing death to these infidels � and flying a plane into a building is only a matter of being asked to do it. Believe that "life starts at the moment of conception" and you will happily stand in the way of medical research that could alleviate the suffering of millions of your fellow human beings. Believe that there is a God who sees and knows all things, and yet remains so provincial a creature as to be scandalized by certain sexual acts between consenting adults, and you will think it ethical to punish people for engaging in private behavior that harms no one. Now that our elected leaders have grown entranced by pseudo-problems like gay marriage, even while the genuine enemies of civilization hurl themselves at our gates, perhaps it is time we subjected our religious beliefs to the same standards of evidence we require in every other sphere of our lives. Perhaps it is time for us to realize, at the dawn of this perilous century, that we are paying too high a price to maintain the iconography of our ignorance.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004


Hole digging on the beach last weekend. (I'm still sore)

Adrienne was trying to get an overtired Conrad to go to sleep last night, when the "dad" went into action. Grabbing this blue vase-like item I proceeding to place said vase and my head. Then while spinning furiously like a crazed dervish and flapping my hands around in a poor imitation of avian mating dances entertained Conrad till the successful termination of teeth cleansing. Parenting 101.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Finally got my webcam working the way I like enough to include a link.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

bruce_dirksen: "lesbian bitch cow diva" --> now THAT is an image. feliciaelena: moo feliciaelena: more chocolate...less crankiness bruce_dirksen: Here here. entropyhed: <-eating a frozen ding dong ;) entropyhed: gad damm that's good bruce_dirksen: Huh. entropyhed: haven't had a ding dong in probably 10 years entropyhed: then adrienne mentioned off hand she used to put them in the freezer as a kid and eat them that way entropyhed: as fate would have it...ding dongs (for the first time mind you) appeared in the vending machine on friday (they are now gone again) entropyhed: so I purchased one and put it in the freezer here over the weekend entropyhed: i must say...it was worth the wait entropyhed: *this interlude bought to you by another under utilized lump of gray matter* bruce_dirksen: I repeat.... "Huh" :) feliciaelena: ding dongs... feliciaelena: feliciaelena: bruce_dirksen: <--- does not drool over Ding Dongs as a matter of principle. feliciaelena: principle schmiciple...gimme! bruce_dirksen: <--- Saving himself for good treats....like cookies! feliciaelena: bah! cream filling! feliciaelena: and waxy xhoxolate feliciaelena: oy entropyhed: it was really damn good feliciaelena: I applaud your desire to expand your baked treat horizons E entropyhed: (and my waistline) feliciaelena: not THAT's a baked GOOD feliciaelena: man cannot live by vegetables alone feliciaelena: actually he can...but he gets really skinny and pastey looking feliciaelena: and their hair gets awfully dull...

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Flea came back from Washington DC, where she failed miserably in her mission to dethrone philosopher king Bush, with a funky new writing implement. My initial comment was along the lines of engineers with too much time on their hands, but it's growing on me. What do you think?
This weekend I picked up a car stereo and installed it in my poor old Nissan Sentra. It's been 6 or 7 years since I had a functioning car stereo in there. I made the mistake of listening to Bruce Springsteen this morning on the way to work. This song in particular blew me away for the 100th time... Blood Brothers Lyrics Artist: Bruce Springsteen Album: Greatest Hits We played king of the mountain out on the end The world come chargin' up the hill, and we were women and men Now there's so much that time, time and memory fade away We got our own roads to ride and chances we gotta take We stood side by side each one fightin' for the other We said until we died we'd always be blood brothers Now the hardness of this world slowly grinds your dreams away Makin' a fool's joke out of the promises we make And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray We lose ourselves in work to do and bills to pay And it's a ride, ride, ride, and there ain't much cover With no one runnin' by your side my blood brother On through the houses of the dead past those fallen in their tracks Always movin' ahead and never lookin' back Now I don't know how I feel, I don't know how I feel tonight If I've fallen 'neath the wheel, if I've lost or I've gained sight I don't even know why, I don't why I made this call Or if any of this matters anymore after all But the stars are burnin' bright like some mystery uncovered I'll keep movin' through the dark with you in my heart My blood brother

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Dirk, Sheila, the twins, Jeremy and I met up last night at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney. We had a great time and as usual it was just smashing to get face to face time in. I must say it was a pleasure to meet Jeremy and his family.

The Con-man battles my sister's new puppy for control of the world in the classic struggle of good vs. evil.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Freeway Musings It's been a while since I posted anything here. I know. I know. The urge to share with the greater world comes and goes. [shrug] Conrad woke up at 5:30 this morning and despite Adrienne's best efforts would not go back to sleep. So I was treated to a morning with my family and breakfast. I shuttled Adrienne off to do some yoga and got Con-man ready for the day. Shorts and a hawaiian shirt and his tennis shoes, "I want to wear my running shoes daddy". "Absolutely, and why would you want to wear anything else?" So I got him dressed and I got to play Darth Vader a little and teach the young Ben Kanobi a thing or two about the power of the dark side before heading out into the morning and work. Leaving for work is a different thing on the days when C is up and about. It breaks my heart into little pieces. "I have to go to work now kiddo". He looks up at me still holding his light saber. "Not yet". "I have to go honey or I'm going to be late". All of which means nothing to him of course. So I watch the brief second of shock settle into perfect face. His brow crumples, his eyes redden and he lowers his head into the sofa pillow and begins to sob. I suppose it's good that he misses me when I'm not there. But I don't feel that way then. I can feel the guilt, shame and urge to run coming at me like another personality. So I lean over and give him a kiss on his perfect head and pet his hair. " I love you honey, I know you don't understand. I'll be home in a few hours to play", and I walk out the door and hold my hand up in the air signing I love you. It's a strange trick of modern society that pulls a parent from their kids in order to provide. Robert Bly insist in Iron John that part of my job as a father is to show Conrad how to be fierce. Not savage like Bush and his brethren, knelt so dutifully in prayer to the prince of peace while they send the American military on a modern day crusade, but fierce. I'm not real sure what the difference is, but I know I don't feel fierce as I drive away with a catch in my throat. I'll never be a good enough father to him. Never. Not from lack of trying, I'm just trying to find a place where I can be ok with that. As I pull up to a stop light, I remind myself to practice meditating at the red lights...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Monday, June 21, 2004

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Monday, June 14, 2004

AH....Catalina. Had a great weekend over in Catalina. Damn close to perfect. I only took a few pictures, but they are worth checking out.
A couple of weeks ago we took the C-man to the beach. It was a really nice day (a little cold). Conrad LOVES the water.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

I can speak at least partially for A when I say that we have felt very marginalized and, well, punished for some of the decisins we have made on how we raise Conrad. I ran across this article today in the LA Times that at least gives me some hope that the choices we are making are mirrored in other places and we are not totally alone. Moms and Babes (requires resgistration at LATimes.com)

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I've been spending some time of late setting up a new server to host the site. Please be patient with me.

Monday, April 12, 2004

What an incredible weekend! Family reunions, sleepy egg hunting, family breakfasts, easter dresses, bike rides, water balloon fights. Check out the highlights.

Friday, March 26, 2004

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Looks like this might be a pretty decent year for wildflower blooms in Death Valley. I'm thinking April 3-4 might be a good time to head out and check them out. Let me know what you think. Death Valley Wildflower Report

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

This weekend we celebrated Berlynn's Birthday! I have higher resolution copies of these pictures. Send me an e-mail if you want a copy.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Steve e-mailed me this pic of the Conman yesterday. I like it.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Lars sent me this excellent picture of Rainbow Basin from a good altitude. The road is Fort Irwin Road. Rainbow basin

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Home .Born of us ........your father and I .we know that ......it is time ......you are finally ..................home . .You are home .........earth, clay .home ......in wood, milled and shaped ..................for you . ......lengthened and measured . crafted and born ......we are ..................finally ........bringing you home

Friday, February 06, 2004

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Conrad and I had the good fortune to spend the afternoon wishing Kaili a happy birthday! ...and many more kiddo... (my sincerest apologies for initially spelling young Kaili's name incorrectly. I am sadly human...)

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Thursday, January 22, 2004

A few of us have started up a writing circle. You can find the forum here. Some of these people are very good writers and in all honesty, much better than myself. I'll take solace in being the person running the board.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

EntropyHed:: <---green with envy Astenar:: offers him an olive branch EntropyHed:: coos like a dove at the sweet offering Astenar:: eh? (can't see the forest for the trees) EntropyHed:: nope hills are to greece-y Astenar:: hehe...I'm doing colors, you're doing geography. Pun madness EntropyHed:: wish i could have posted that part-anon Astenar:: you could publish a column EntropyHed:: nah i want to urn it Urda:: Don't be a doric EntropyHed:: lol Urda:: EntropyHed:: bust-ed!!! Urda:: I've lost my marble EntropyHed:: so if i was a flower removed from a vase in athens, could you say i was "ode to a grecian urn"? Urda:: oy...my aching temple Astenar:: gads...the humor in here is pretty spartan Urda:: it's practically ionic EntropyHed:: *watches flea grab her persius and leave, disgusted* Astenar:: and what of Dirk? Though puns have always been his Achilles heal Urda:: he's hunting his golden fleece Astenar:: off on some odyssey? EntropyHed:: hey dirk! what's up homer! Urda:: Hey E...did you ever clear up that electra-cal issue? Urda:: I understand it was a clash of the titans EntropyHed:: yeah it was the car-man (obscure off topic pun) Urda:: you better get a kraken EntropyHed:: oooooo Urda:: (studied ancient greek mythos in college.../snicker) Astenar:: wow, you sure are roman all over the spectrum of puns Urda:: it's all greek to me Astenar:: chews on a mars bar Urda:: Troy that one on for size Astenar:: moves on to a caesar salad Urda:: et tu steve? Astenar:: tries to make a Plato scultpture, but ends up eating all the blue Urda:: Astenar:: rolls down a trojan Urda:: :P Urda:: take it to the arena EntropyHed:: about those lions, I'm pretty gladiator, she was not useful anyway Astenar:: they should send those damn lions back to their respective zeus Urda:: I hear they have a rare species of aquaduck there Astenar:: Hera-sy! Urda:: punning is often hit or myth
hey. yeah you. come here. underneath my clothes... i'm completely NEKKID!!. think about it.

Monday, January 19, 2004

there now stands a youthful citadel in my backyard, and there was much rejoicing. today as i sit here thinking back over the weekend it strikes me as a qualified statement of hope. (for those of you i didn't recruit to help build it, a little background may be useful. conrad received one of the wooden playsets that have become fairly common. it has 3 swings monkey bars, a climbing wall, and a bumpy slide, not to mention the wooden roof, a hundred thousand lag bolts and millions of wood screws. and now it stands shading the setting sun. ) hope. hope for the future is a complicated emotion for me now after losing connor. for 5 years now, the future is something that i have avoided, well, almost pathologically. why? when i imagine the future with my family it's always tagged by the words "if they don't die". those of you that haven't walked down this particular path may find that an odd feeling to have resonating like a tone in the background of your life. but it will sound familiar to some of you. like i said, it's sort of complicated. now, i have this structure in the back half of my yard. wooden, tall, splintery, still unsanded and un-waterproofed, brand new. with no real memories, but future ones. friday play days with his play group, bare feet and summer heat, perhaps broken arms, or legs, the inevitable structural modification, dirt clod and orange wars - a future filled with the stuff of life. hopefully. bleh. complicated. and here i am, standing in my head looking at it and thinking it's not built with wood and metal, but emotions. and not just this plaything but everything. all things colored through "me-colored glasses". painted with hope, love...and fear. painted by my past. is there another way to see it? not that I've found. inside the house there is another wooden thing that i built with my hands. smooth and cool, painted from a palette of rage, confusion, sadness and love. but i'm not ready to talk about that one yet. maybe tomorrow. maybe never. e.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Many, many thanks to everyone who came over last weekend to help build Conrad's playset. He absolutely loves it and I couldn't have done it without y'all. I've posted some pics. If anyone else has any they'd like to see, e-mail me and I'll link 'em. Love you guys. *sniff* Playset creation
These guys have some great t-shirts. I think the best one is the infant t-shirt that says " My IQ is higher than the presidents". Make sure you check out the wrapping paper too! T-Shirt Hell: Funny t-shirts, Funny shirts, cool t-shirts, Cool shirts

Friday, January 09, 2004

See now I find this stuff cool. I was wondering about the rain fall levels in Death Valley and how the flowers where going to be this Spring and I stumbled upon this series of pages that walks you through the geologic history of the Death Valley. Next time I go there I'll be looking at a very living desert breathing through time. Death Valley's geologic history: Middle Precambrian

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Their is some hope that the bush mysticism is finally starting to organize the secularists into some form of political action and force. Although the article is a little dated, it is new to me. I found it here.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Conrad poses with his cousin Berlynn for one of the many papparazzi. Conrad stands amid a sea of presents. Poor kid. How will he survive. Many of you know I'm working with a local craftsman (Perry Karlsson) to make a wooden box to hold many of Connor's things. These are the first two pictures that show off the hand chiseled dove tailing. Another view of the whole box. Conrad enjoys his brief moments of weightlessness.

Thursday, January 01, 2004

Here it is another new years day. These kind of days put me into a form of internal conflict. I mean, why should January 1st be treated any differently that August 14th? The human animal, other than being violent, self-delusional, heroic, and beautiful is an odd animal with a genetic pre-disposition toward generalizing. We impose order on things, lay a pattern on chaos in an attempt to bring a sense of security to our worlds and dimly lit caves. Today, I'm not going to fight millions of years of genetic programming and make some new years resolutions. I'll be brief: 1. Love more. That's it. Seems simple doesn't it. Now to bring it down to real world application excuse me if I over simplify, I am a homo spapien sapien, it's what we do. 1. Love more ....A. Self ........1) Exercise ............a. Daily ................1. 7:30 - Pushups ................2. 10:00 - Arms (Biceps, Triceps) ................3. 12:00 - Shoulders ................4. 2:00 - Sit-ups, back ............b. Weekly ................1. Cardio - 3 times (Bike, Jog, Jog) ........2) Financial ............a. Establish a budget and stick to it ................1. Love my future by not selling it, and take it back from the banks. ............b. Give more to Conrad's college fund ........3) Diet ............a. Lose weight ................1. 155 pound target weight, + additional muscle weight. ............b. Eat as well as I can while still enjoying life. Forgive myself for indulgences. ........4) Misc ............a. Take an emotional inventory everyday ................1. Be an active participant in my life. ............b. Be calm ................1. 7:30 - 5 minutes of mediation ................2. 10:00 - 5 minutes of meditation ................3. 2:00 - 5 minutes of meditation ....B. Wife ........1) Listen ........2) Listen ........3) Do something nice for her every day ....C. Conrad ........1) Listen (I've found a theme) ........2) Spend 10 minutes everyday, being completely goofy with him. ........3) This stolen from Adrienne's list: Protect his memories of childhood as precious. ....D. Friends and Family ........1) Get together at least once a month as a group and do something, anything. ............a. Build the community our modern lives have torn from us. ............b. Do something nice and completely silly for a friend or family member at least once a month, anonomously if possible. I of course reserve the right to deviate from this list at any given time for any given reason and retain all applicable rights to forgive myself f I do. Happy new year everyone. Hope it is full of memories. e.