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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

[#] [3]
i took a workshop last week about creating your own personal symbol, and one of the exercises was to graphically illustrate your problem-solving process. i've always wanted an excuse to play w/ omnigraffle, so here it is:

problem solving diagram
[click for a larger version. and blogger doesn't upload gifs! grrr.]

oh, and michael & i went w/ his dad to a lacrosse game saturday. lacrosse! but it gave me an excuse to explore the rose garden, which happens to have huge windows with an excellent view of portland at twilight if you take the stairs.

Monday, March 27, 2006

[#] [7]
crap. carl points us to a nerve article about religious conservative philip anschutz: "A heavy contributor to the Republican Party for decades, Anschutz helped fund Amendment 2 [as a former coloradoan i say, *that bastard!*], a ballot initiative to overturn a state law protecting gay rights, and helped stop another initiative promoting medical marijuana. More recently, he helped fund the Discovery Institute, a conservative Christian think tank that mounted a public relations campaign and financed 'research' into intelligent design. He has also supported the Media Research Council, the group that generated nearly all the indecency complaints with the FCC in 2003."

he's also the owner of at least 20% of the Regal, Edwards and United Artists theatres. the 2wenty? yep, that's him. AND he's a major stakehold in qwest (our DSL provider). AND one of the movie companies he's created was responsible for *the lion, the witch and the wardrobe*. AND he owns any newspaper than ends in the word "examiner." so unless i give up DSL and only go to century eastport to watch specially selected movies, i'll be giving money to him. i don't ordinarily do the pocketboook politics thing, but that makes me queasy.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

[#] [1]
so i'm sick and having just taken a shower, i feel a little more human. yesterday sven & i saw shaedra who we very much miss now that she lives in independence, and then we went to the omsi animation exhibit (hey, it turns out the passes get us in for free & they don't check id, so i'd be happy to lend a pass to people who love omsi :).

but being out & about didn't do my cold any favours and i began a cycle of doing one thing then taking a nap: make dinner, take a nap, finish some notes from tuesday, take a nap, get through email & blogs, take a nap, eat some of a lemon-honey-lavendar ice cream sandwich, take a nap, rsync, take a nap, fix a portland society for calligraphy site error, take a nap. when i finally put myself to bed for the night, sven told me a story about three little ducks in a spanish nature preserve who wanted to go to mexico so they wore tiny little sombreros and danced la cucaracha with their tiny webbed feet. i slept for 10 hours and had dreams about neil gaiman.

tonight i have to go to salem to take a class i signed up for, so i'm trying to take it easy today. but the big question is: how will i get my final calligraphy project done? it's due tomorrow & i haven't managed to make it to the studio yet. and i sure hope i feel better when michael's dad get into town saturday...

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

[#] [0]
this blog was born 4 years ago when i was still in california and before i dreamed i would move to portland and love it. but if it's so happy, why am i huddled here on the couch, unable to stay warm, breathing with my mouth open and with kleenex up my nose?

Monday, March 20, 2006

[#] [0]
darn! i didn't know there was an anti-war demonstration yesterday!

[#] [2]
we had a very odd power pattern here today: a couple of very brief power outages early this afternoon left us puzzled, but later this evening it became much stranger. first, eight small brownouts of about 10 seconds each every 3 or 5 minutes, then an hour and half of brownout, then a total power outage for a bit, and then everything corrected itself. i was trying to make dinner when the brownouts happened -- by the time the last one hit, we had to boil the rice in the fondue pot. we're going to be helpless when civilization crumbles.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

[#] [2]
i check portland ground daily. on today's post capturing the interstitial between highway 205 & 84, the picture is nice but the poetry is better:
There ought to be a law against taking a picture like this, one hand on the wheel, one hand holding the camera, view through my windshield... But if I hadn't done it this once, where else in the world would you have found a picture of this nothing place, between other places, and the sky that was above it on a November weekend? This day is gone now, this moment has vanished. This is all there is of it. So risks must sometimes be taken.
sven & i have a fondness for "unplaces," and i'm glad to see others do, too. :)

[update mar29: the owner of portland ground wrote to say, "Thank you for your sweet comment on my post.... someone complained just today about that freeway picture, in comparison to other prettier ones... and it really is a very poor picture... I was thinking of taking it down.... but then just now I saw your comment. I'm so glad you knew what I meant. The picture will stay. Not every picture has to be picture perfect. Sometimes "nothing much" matters too! Hell, that's the whole philosophy of portland ground, in a way." i still don't think it is a bad picture: i think it captures a sense of space & scope that's unusual to see in portland, sort of the way the fremont bridge makes me feel.]

Saturday, March 18, 2006

[#] [2]
argh. see, this is what i mean:

in this article about embryo donation vs embryo adoption, the only thing that's changed is the wording, specifically designed to condition an emotional response. as george lakoff would undoubtably agree, words make a big difference in framing a response, in part by requiring a defense that seems unreasonable. the differences are always innocuous, but it's like advertising: millions of dollars have been silently sifted into making something invisible.

so just to be clear, only birth makes embryos into people. they're not even fetuses yet. as embryos, we share the same development as chickens: can you tell the difference?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

[#] [0]
finally, an apple knowledgebase article that tells it like it is!

(thanks, shay!)

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

[#] [0]
i almost missed pi day today! good thing sven made us key lime pie yesterday. :)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

[#] [1]
last night sven, michaelmas & i saw nochnoi dozor at cinema 21, a russian vampire/fantasy film that i quite enjoyed. but because my head has been wrapped up in the frustrating erosion of abortion rights, i couldn't help filtering the film's premise through an anti-abortion lens: the protagonist accepts the "sin" of an abortion at the hands of an evil (and literal) witch to get what he wants, then finds himself face-to-face with the consequences of that action 12 years later and regrets it. i understand it from a storytelling lens; it's not much different than the angel/connor relationship, where the action you take today leads your child to to choose darkness despite your best intentions. later i realized that the russian culture about abortion probably isn't as polarized or moralized as it is here after decades of using it as a method of family planning (ref), so it didn't necessarily carry all the same conotations (and in fact, may have been used *because* it's so familiar to that audience). still, i desperately don't want anyone to see the movie and think, "aha! see, abortion is WRONG!"

i consider myself pro-child, pro-family, pro-choice, in contrast to those who are anti-contraception, anti-abortion, anti-welfare: i don't think ANY woman should be forced to _give birth_ to a child if she doesn't want to (this is different than "having a child," for those who think adoption is the answer). i don't like having to contribute to the culture of conflict by stating a side, because i think there's too much of that already: red vs blue, breeder vs leech, etc.

i want wanted children. none of my pro-choice beliefs conflict with the desire for women who WANT to be mothers to get to be supported and nourished in their decision. but i've been feeling hopeless and distraught as i see states pass laws outlawing abortion almost entirely and erasing the rights of women (and that some women, at least, are voting against those rights, really depresses me). it feels like we are so in love with potential we don't cherish what we have, only what will be. why isn't the life & future of the person who is *already alive* worth protecting?

and i don't know what to do to combat the sudden appearance of "no kidding? i had fingerprints 9 weeks from conception" billboards i've seen all over portland lately. if i could rent out space on a billboard on the opposite side of the street, what would it say? i don't know if "my body, my choice" has the same impact it used to and looks sort of selfish next to poor baby nick. i'm looking for a slogan that doesn't seem like an opinion (i mean, how can you argue w/ _fingerprints_?) or immediately cause a "oh, no, you're not!" sort of reaction.

ultimately, i fear the issue is unresolvable: do you feel that life begins at conception or not? because if you do believe it, i see how you would have to argue against abortion as a form of murder. but if you don't, then fight like hell to keep abortion legal, because otherwise, as in all arguments, the people with the loudest voices will win.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

[#] [2]
it snowed! for about 1/2 an hour it swirled in big fat flakes the size of my eye, turning the street white in 15 minutes. it finally slowed and now it's almost stoppped: if it turns to rain, it will wash away the snow fairies by morning, but standing by the lamppost tonight, i felt like i was waiting for mr. tumnus.

[update: i forgot to mention that i've never heard frogs sing in the snow before, but you could clearly hear their chorus below the steady patter of snow on my hood.]

Friday, March 03, 2006

[#] [0]
the last time i took a "what serenity character are you?" test, i was malcom reynolds. but that test has disappeared, so i tried the one leopoldo took, and tied between kaylee & river. i had to do a tiebreaker question (which is more true: 1. when the mood takes you, you are very dangerous OR 2. people you love don't seem to notice you, no matter how hard you hint).

You scored as Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee) Frye. The Mechanic. You are a natural mechanic, and you are far too sweet and cheerful to live out here. How you can see the good in everyone around you boggles the mind occasionally. Still you don't seem to be any crazier than that, and it is a nice kinda crazy.

Kaylee (Kaywinnet Lee) Frye


River Tam


The Operative


Zoe Alleyne Washburne


Capt. Mal Reynolds


Shepherd Derrial Book


Simon Tam


Inara Serra


Hoban 'Wash' Washburne


Jayne Cobb


Which Serenity character are you?
created with

if i had been river:
You scored as River Tam.
The Fugitive. You are clever and dangerous, which is a nasty combination. The fact you are crazy too just adds to your charm. They did bad things to you, but you know their secrets. They will regret how they made you.

yep. it's all true. :)