"History is a wonderful thing, if only it was true"

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tranquility Base

Woke up with a bit of snow this morning.

Not the first of the season, but nice heavy snow, no wind to blow it off the trees.
Overcast, good color saturation.

Took quite a few shots today.
Culled a few to post up.

Slow time of year.
Seasonal residents long gone, Thankgiving over.
Deer season ends today, but the herd has been thin anyway.
Not enough snow for winter activity.

Pretty much time to get caught up on reading and paperwork.

Catching our breath after a busy few weeks.

Got out and about a bit...

Storm Mountain

View south towards the dunes of Storm Mountain
Lake Michigan at the town of Empire

No Storm today, just grey.

The Crystal River

Looking NE

Looking NW

Both views from Dunn's Farm Road
Now part of the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore.

Shot a bit later in the afternoon, around 4:00

Faux Thank You to Prius Owners

Bit of a spoof from WSJournal
Point is that Hybrids are a great marketing tool, maybe not a great real world product.

WSJ.com - Business World
Dear Valued Hybrid Customer...
November 30, 2005; Page A19

We at the Toyota Motor Corporation are writing to address certain misconceptions that have arisen about your Toyota Prius model, which we are proud to note is driven by many celebrities, including Prince Charles and HBO's Larry David.

Our pioneering gasoline-electric hybrid, introduced in 1999, has become an object of adoration to the world's enlightened car buyers. Our competitors, including America's Big Three, are rushing out hybrid vehicles of their own. Unconfirmed media reports say that we at Toyota intend to double our hybrid output to 500,000 vehicles next year. Along with other members of the auto industry, we will be lobbying for tax breaks and HOV privileges for hybrid vehicles.

However, any romance entering its seventh year tends to go stale. Some purchasers have begun to question the practical value of our Hybrid Synergy Drive technology. You may be aware that a survey by Consumer Reports found that our vehicles achieve considerably less mileage (some 26% less) than the sticker rating implies. This has led to some unflattering media stories.

Let us assure you that the Prius remains one of the most fuel-efficient cars on the road. Toyota applauds your willingness to spend $9,500 over the price of any comparable vehicle for the privilege of saving, at current gasoline prices, approximately $580 a year.

And should the price of gasoline rise to $5, after 10 years and/or 130,000 miles of driving, you might even come close to breaking even on your investment in hybrid technology.

We recognize that our customers have an "emotional" relationship with their vehicles. This transcends even the regrettable truth that driving a fuel-efficient car does not yield any substantial benefits for society if it doesn't save the owner money."

Monday, November 28, 2005

Doc on the attempts to fence in the Open Range

On a more serious note than usual... the Future of the Internet

An important read

Saving the Net: How to Keep the Carriers from Flushing the Net Down the Tubes | Linux Journal

I'd skip over much of the comments section
Doc : maybe do some "moderating" of the comments to keep to relevant themes?

Then, From George Dyson on Google (aka Borg)
Edge: TURING'S CATHEDRAL by George Dyson

I use the term Borg in a reference, not to "resistance is futile" but to the ability to absorb nearly anything.

Rumors of Google buying up Dark Fiber and setting up free WiFi may be the "end around" in addressing the Telco/CableCo monopoly moves.

Maybe the fears that Doc speaks of will be less relevant?

George : "My visit to Google? Despite the whimsical furniture and other toys, I felt I was entering a 14th-century cathedral — not in the 14th century but in the 12th century, while it was being built. Everyone was busy carving one stone here and another stone there, with some invisible architect getting everything to fit. The mood was playful, yet there was a palpable reverence in the air. "We are not scanning all those books to be read by people," explained one of my hosts after my talk. "We are scanning them to be read by an AI."


"Whether we're talking about John Cage's idea of "the mind we all share" or H.G. Well's "World Brain", Google has its act together and are at the precipice of astonishing changes in human communication...and ultimately, in our sense of who or what we are. And like nearly all science-driven, technological developments, governments can only play catch-up as no one is going to get to vote for Google's changes, and the current laws, written in a pre-digital age, don't address the new situation."

Powerful stuff

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Oh Canada

"Former Canadian Minister Of Defence Asks Canadian Parliament Asked To Hold Hearings On Relations With Alien 'Et' Civilizations"

Ah those loveable Canadians
Glad they are watching our northern approaches.

"November 24, 2005 -- A former Canadian Minister of Defence and Deputy Prime Minister under Pierre Trudeau has joined forces with three Non-governmental organizations to ask the Parliament of Canada to hold public hearings on Exopolitics -- relations with “ETs.”

By “ETs,” Mr. Hellyer and these organizations mean ethical, advanced extraterrestrial civilizations that may now be visiting Earth.

He goes on to claim that Bush wants a "Foward Base" on the moon to take pot-shots at Aliens.

With friends like this ...

Friday, November 25, 2005

Blustery Day update

Local Paper (Leelanau Enterprise, a weekly) covered the winds with story about freighters that took shelter in Sutton's Bay.

Of note : wind gusts of 97MPH clocked on Lake Michigan, with reports of 120MPH on Lake Superior ...

Note that Hurricane Force starts at 74MPH
NOAA on Hurricanes etc.

More on breezes:
Beaufort Wind Scale

Looney Dunes: Blustery Day

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Not sure if I like this idea or not

Coefficient of friction

Coming north it was obvious that some drivers had no idea that winter means a different coefficient of friction for their tires and the road.

Just pulled this photo from the web as example.

It was snowing pretty well yesterday, but not all that difficult. Just don't make any sudden changes (throttle, brakes, steering) and plan ahead.

Probably saw a good half dozen cars where the drivers had found "unique and interesting" ways to park off road and/or in the woods.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Being "Grandpa"

Got to spend the day being "Grandpa" and playing with Robby.

Remarkably good kid, calm, engaged, actually seems to be interested in more than just his fingers, being fed and having his diapers changed.

Of course the good disposition comes from his Grandfather (ahem) as I’ve told that I was also exemplary and so even tempered.

Best that I can recall, his mom was from the same mold.

While Robby was decked out in his Patriot's outfit, I'm not sure that he yet grasps all the nuances of the game (we watched the Pats and the Saints). I this case, I think that fingers, cats, toys, feeding and diapers came ahead of the game.

What a change in just over 4 months!

Saturday, November 19, 2005


A bit of difference in Eating Establishments between Brookline and Glen Arbor.

Note that Art's has good cheeseburgers ...

Note further that we don't have all that much snow ... yet

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Big Mac update

Scroll on the Telly - now Mackinac closed to all but a few cars and small pickups.

Whew - blustery day indeed.

Blustery Day

Not Winne the Poo, but we did have a bit of a blustery day

A few trees down, but not all that bad

Cruised around a bit, spotted a freighter "parked" in Good Harbor Bay, riding it out.

Just as the storm broke ( shot below ) the power goes out ... arrgh

Fired up generator, headed to Art's
Only game in town, Tim has a big ol generator, one of two "eating establishments" in the area that does.
Packed - of course. Everybody knows that you can rely on Tim.
Word was that entire county was knocked out.

From Tim's site :

"Art’s proudly remains a “quaint piece of schlock” in an increasingly generic world!!"

Got my "Crusty Whitefish" and before dinner was over, power back on...

Almost standard fare for November up here.

Let it Blow

Big Mac,
Mackinac Bridge, closed to "high profile" vehicles due to winds ...


Don't have a "before" shot.
Put the canoes away yesterday ... couple of nice light fiberglass/kevlar solo Sawyer's
They spend the summer on a rack which is just a couple of feet to the right of the base of this tree.

Birdfeeder as a bit of a "wind guage"

Bit of a blow today.
Gusts into the 50's

Time to fire up the chainsaw...

Thursday, November 10, 2005

30 years ago today

The Gales of November:
Yesterday, returned home, 25-35mph breeze as we landed, gusts to 55...

It was 30 years ago today ...
(note that I've set the time stamp as the last communication from the ship)

SS Edmund Fitzgerald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

From Gordon Lightfoot:

"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore - 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early

The ship was the pride of the American side
Coming back from some mill in Wisconson
As the big freighters go it was bigger than most
With a crew and the Captain well seasoned.

Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms
When they left fully loaded for Cleveland
And later that night when the ships bell rang
Could it be the North Wind they'd been feeling.

The wind in the wires made a tattletale sound
And a wave broke over the railing
And every man knew, as the Captain did, too,
T'was the witch of November come stealing.

The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait
When the gales of November came slashing
When afternoon came it was freezing rain
In the face of a hurricane West Wind

When supper time came the old cook came on deck
Saying fellows it's too rough to feed ya
At 7PM a main hatchway caved in
He said fellas it's been good to know ya.

The Captain wired in he had water coming in
And the good ship and crew was in peril
And later that night when his lights went out of sight
Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

Does anyone know where the love of God goes
When the words turn the minutes to hours
The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay
If they'd fifteen more miles behind her.

They might have split up or they might have capsized
They may have broke deep and took water
And all that remains is the faces and the names
Of the wives and the sons and the daughters.

Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings
In the ruins of her ice water mansion
Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams,
The islands and bays are for sportsmen.

And farther below Lake Ontario
Takes in what Lake Erie can send her
And the iron boats go as the mariners all know
With the gales of November remembered.

In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed
In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral
The church bell chimed, 'til it rang 29 times
For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
Superior, they say, never gives up her dead
When the gales of November come early."

Use to spend time in summers on the south shore visiting friends, and back about 75 a circumnavigation of the lake on Motorcycle … most impressive piece of water … most impressive.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sanibel Sunset

Got to pack up for early departure.

Damn ... I was just starting to get accustom to the heat (though maybe not the humidity).
Finally made time for a couple of hours of "beach time" late today.
Of course, that was time for a big cloud to hang over the beach.

Ah well.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Another one of those days

Well, up and at-em
Time for another cuppa, then some beach walk before it gets to hot.
Finding it hard to get use to the heat/humidity
Suppose the A/C is the way to go.

View is SSE from Shorewood (Sanibel)