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on keeping a notebook (http://nibot.livejournal.com/101235.html) (heat-moon) [Dec. 25th, 2018|04:56 pm]
"Remember what you have seen, because everything forgotten returns to the circling winds."

Navajo Wind Chant/quoted by Wm. Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways, at the end.
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slow progress towards glider rating [Mar. 3rd, 2018|11:04 pm]

I started working on my glider rating when I moved to Germany, what 2011 or so, hoping to finish in one summer season. Well here we are seven-ish years later.

Hoping to solo tomorrow and knock out the last three of the required ten solo flights before the checkride. Even more so, hoping to solo in the Schweizer 1-26, a single-seater.

Tempted to make a trip out to Marfa TX, where Burt Compton offers free glider checkrides in the winter months.
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(no subject) [Apr. 5th, 2017|11:09 am]

"Control of LiveJournal as a blogging platform has been transferred to SUP Media LLC, a legal entity based in the Russian Federation," says a post on news, with only 15 comments.
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Why dust collects on fan blades [Apr. 4th, 2017|08:26 pm]
»The properly skeptical reader may have detected a peculiar assumption in our demonstration of viscosity: the fluid must stick to the walls of the [container] rather than simply slide along the walls.

Now fluid certainly does stick to itself. If one tiny portion of a fluid moves, it tends to carry other bits of fluid with it—the magnitude of that tendency is precisely what viscosity is about. Less obviously, fluids stick to solids quite as well as they stick to themselves. As nearly as we can tell from the very best measurements, the velocity of a fluid at the interface with the solid is always just the same as the solid. This last statement expresses something called the "no-slip condition"—fluids do not slip with respect to adjacent solids. …

[A] peculiarity of this no-slip condition is that the nature of the solid surface makes very little difference. If water is flowing over a solid without an air-water interface to complicate matters, the no-slip condition holds whether the solid is hydrophilic or hydrophobic, rough or smooth, greasy or clean. The nature of the solid surface matters only when we have a liquid-gas interface present as well—in short, where surface tension becomes a factor."

The no-slip condition has a number of important ramifications. In particular, it means that any time a fluid flows across a solid, a velocity gradient is present. … In practice, the no-slip condition explains (in part) why dust and grime accumulate on fan blades, why pipes (including blood vessels) encounter trouble from accumulation of deposits rather than from wearing thin, and why a bit of suspended rock is needed in water for the latter to become effectively errosive. … Alternatively, just consider why dishcloths and mops are so much more effective for cleaning than any mere rinse.«
Vogel, Life in Moving Fluids, page 21.
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coffee insomnia [Jul. 15th, 2016|02:16 am]
* post brought to you by afternoon-coffee induced insomnia

things that happened recently:

- saw simone giertz and mary roach at nerd nite east bay. they are amazing. with maria, and co-workers sophie and onath.

- i saw the glorious strandbeests at the exploratorium, and also saw adam savage (of mythbusters fame) in person, as he demoed a strandbeest-inspired creation. (with ben berry, and we ran into paula, and rosanne and justin)

- with maria, and nicholas and diane, and a guy from chaos who chose for himself the american-name "Hemingway", to the "arroyo seco", an entirely misnamed Shangri-La of swimming holes in the viscinity of Gilroy in the Ventana Wilderness, a place of much mystery and intrigue, to which we must return.

- conor came to visit, my former co-postdoc from hannover. i took him to the mission, we ate delicious mexican food at taqueria can-cun. we washed it down with beer on the ferry back to alameda, then joined my housemate's birthday party. on sunday I lead a hike up mount tam, where we stopped at the west point inn for a pancake breakfast two miles in.

- oh yeah also I went to munich, austria, and slovenia. maybe I should tell you about that? favorite thing: the eisbachwelle. and beautiful lake bled, and swimming in the adriatic at piran (slovenia).

- at my work yesterday we had an hour-long fitness class. only six people showed up, but it was super fun, and now I hurt everywhere.


- going to a burlesque cabaret circus thing tomorrow, here in Alameda in a circus tent on the taxiway.

- And then this weekend, with my co-workers I'm going camping out in the Sacramento river delta, on Tim Anderson's land, which is a sort of beautiful swampy junkyard, and we will swim in the river and maybe take a boat to visit Ephemerisle.

- bryce and robin's wedding, near eugene oregon, in august. and then my uncle mike and andrea, at their house out in the high desert near lake tahoe (loyalton ca).
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skinny-dip marin! [Jun. 12th, 2016|11:10 am]

One thing about the Bay Area is that, despite having this big bay right here, there aren't that many places that are very appealing to go swimming on a hot summer day -- the bay itself, with its muddy shore, mostly seems too icky.

I found an article in a Marin newspaper where the author helpfully includes a list of skinny-dipping locales, some of which sound like great swimming holes:

>>The law [against skinny-dipping] isn't being enforced at the better-known nudie spots, which include Little Beach; Red Rock Beach, south of Stinson Beach; Hagmier Pond, near Dogtown; and Bass Lake, a swimming hole accessible by the Palomarin Trail, or some of the lesser-known spots, including the Inkwell, near Samuel P. Taylor State Park; RCA Beach, near Bolinas; and Sculptured and Limantour beaches in Point Reyes National Seashore.

And, oddly, skinny-dipping and nudity at the main bathing area at Muir Beach would be technically legal because it's National Park Service land, governed by federal law, Berberian says.<<

* http://www.yelp.com/biz/bass-lake-bolinas
* http://www.yelp.com/biz/rca-beach-bolinas
* http://www.yelp.com/biz/sculptured-beach-point-reyes-station
* http://www.yelp.com/biz/limantour-beach-point-reyes-station
* http://www.yelp.com/biz/phoenix-lake-ross
* http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-inkwells-lagunitas

The inkwells, in particular, look like a perfect summer swimming hole. Dogs are allowed too!
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todo [May. 15th, 2016|11:55 pm]

* Weekend trip to Sacramento.
* Visit fam in Davis, by airplane if possible.
* Drawbridge.

* Pancakes on Mt. Tam.
* Hike with the Cal Alpine Club on Mt. Tam.
* Infiltrate the Tourist Club.
* Find the tree nets on Mt. Tam.

* Visit the Core of Engineers' Bay Model.
* Swim in various swimming holes.
* Meet Wes Modes.

* Essex.
* Fort Awesome.
* Swim in the Aqua Delta pool again.
* Ephemerisle.
* Delta adventure.

* Blue Sky Sustainable Living Cntr.
* Kayaking in the delta.
* Kayaking somewhere bioluminescent.
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wilderness [May. 3rd, 2016|09:38 pm]
[Tags|, ]

Today in my job at Google: eight hour wilderness first aid training.

I believe this is somewhat unusual.
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prize [May. 3rd, 2016|09:37 pm]
[Current Location |Alameda, CA]

Hey, I won a prize! The "Breakthrough Prize" -- which I had never heard of before, but which is being touted as some kind of new Nobel Prize -- was just awarded to the three inventors of LIGO and the 1000 authors of the discovery paper. My share of the prize is approx $2000.

I want to donate it... Who would be a worthy and impactful recipient? Something about STEM education.
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(no subject) [May. 3rd, 2016|12:28 am]
[Current Location |Alameda, CA]

Today was a good day! In my present state of contentment, all days are good days.

I was rated "exceeds expectations" in the company's semiannual performance reviews, which pleases me greatly. My ambition is to try to get promoted in the next round.

I've found a nice niche as flight director during our flight test days, and have been putting in some long hours in our flight-test campaign, which has been ramping up. And there are other work-adventures, too. Last Thursday the company put me on a charter airplane, an eight-seat Pilatus PC-12, with five of my co-workers, for a daytrip to a remote field site.

This afternoon I stopped at public library down the street, signed up for a library card, and checked out the Lonely Planet for the Philippines. Maria and I are scheming up a trip over Christmas to her native land.

This upcoming weekend we might make another expedition to the Steep Ravine hot springs, near Bolinas -- they're in the rocks on the beach and normally obscured by the sea, except for during especially low tides, such as will occur in the coming days. And on a similar note-- a friend has a code for Essex!

Alameda is beautiful, the weather is sublime, and on the weekends I walk five blocks with the dog to the beach and get an ice coffee and then recline on my porch in the sun with a good book. Ryan is moving back to town. I'm helping organize an unusual underground party. I'm excited about camping in the mountains. I want to hang out with Nicolás more, and have barbecues in the park.

Currently reading: The Other Side of Paradise: Life in the New Cuba.
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