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Archive for the ‘Geospatial’ Category

BBB

I guess there is something to be said about being so annoying that people will solve your problem just to shut you up.

My friend and former co-worker N called this the “BBB” principle, for “Better Business by Bugging.” I politely didn’t point out that that’s actually four “B’s”. 😀 Anyways…

And she was masterful at constantly, but cheerfully and politely bugging someone until they finally got her the info or service that they owed her.

Last night, after making a trip to Chantilly, I called her to see if her and her spousal unit wanted to meet for some grubbage before I had the normal Friday night longsword class. They did, and we agreed to meet in Manassas at a Red, Hot, and Blue. I am not familiar at all with that area of Northern Virginia, so I asked her for directions to get there. She tried, and grew frustrated, and had her husband W call me. We went back and forth a couple of times until we had points of reference I could understand, and then, boom, I was off. This reflects similar interchanges that happen every now and then.

Made it to the RHB no problem. Turned out to be a quick and easy trip. After a bit, they showed up. Whilst we were eating, they mentioned that they needed to go over to the nearby Sears and pick up something, and would I help? Of course, sez I. Love being helpful and useful.

We go over there and W says that he’s looking to get a flatscreen for the home office, etc., so we go about looking at them while N wanders off. I’m also looking at TV’s too, ‘coz the one I have is an old tube, not super huge, that was given to me by one of my brother’s friends. It’s so old that the only connection to it is through coax. It does have a remote, but doesn’t work (yes, even with batteries). The resolution’s not too good, and we can’t get the captioning to go off. So yeah, I’ve been thinking about getting a newer TV.

As we’re looking about, Nancy comes back and say’s, “Here ya go!”

I’m like, “uh, what?”

“It’s a GPS. Like the one we got recently, but not quite as big. The Garmin. We love it.”

“What? No way!”

“Yup. Now you won’t have to call us and bug us whenever we’re going to meet somewhere!”

And the TV? Just a ruse. It’s been a long time since I’ve been suckered like that.

Ah, friends. Gotta love ’em. Thanks again, guys. 😀

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Biiiiiggg kudos to my former roommate, Toni. She sent me notice of the eclipse that’s going on tonight. I had sort of heard of it, but it somehow passed thru my consciousness with but barely a ripple, until she sent me an alert at like, 2149 or so.

So I spent over an hour in the beautiful, balmy 25ºF (aye–twas a bit nipply) night watching the Moon being eaten by the Dragon. Wonderful. Awesome. And I even saw the flash and streak of a meteor! (Or maybe it was a falling satellite… 🙂 )

And now the Moon’s being reborn. I’ve been watching as the bright slice slowly grows and grows (albeit spending more time inside for that portion).

There’s always been something in crisp, cold, clear, nights that has drawn me out. I don’t know why, or what it is; just some sort of longing I can’t explain. Not a melancholy–just… well, sorry, I just can’t elucidate it. Maybe one day. Though maybe that’s why I’ve always been drawn to “space” stuff and the like.

Update: the Moon’s almost all the way back! And it is bright out there! Gorgeous!

Update to the update: here’s my fuzzy pic of the beginning of the eclipse. Alas–with cellphone.

lunar_eclipse_0220082148.jpg

I’m just amazed that I was able to get it in frame at all, let alone centered like that!

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Naturally, I get into discussions with friends about what I think about “Global Warming,” and other such environmental issues. The problem is, I typically suck at trying to make a point that is more complex than a simple yes or no whilst talking, and anyway, when listening, it seems to be hard for people to hold the whole position in their head.

So I ended up writing a “point paper” on my thoughts so far (and this is an important point on its own–I always am reevaluating with the information that I get, I don’t believe I know everything, and I’m not just attached to one position forever), that I could whip out and let people read through, so that I could say what I needed to say, before anybody gets hung up on the just the first or second points (which in relationship to each other may seem contradictory at first glance), and emailed it to a couple of friends, with the intent of putting it up here sometime.

So here it is:

A summary of my beliefs on Global Climate Change (sometimes now known as “Global Warming”) at this time, based on the evidence I’ve been presented and the experience I’ve had.

Global Climate Change (GCC) happening?
– Yes!
Human caused?
– NO!!!!!!
Human influenced?
– Maybe
– We don’t know how, or how much we have influenced GCC.
– Maybe we’ve sped it up
– Maybe we’ve slowed it down
Part of natural cycle?
– YES!!
– Ice ages, anyone?
Mitigation
– Can we stop the cycle?
— Not in short run. But nothing is impossible.
– Should we?
— PROBABLY NOT
– Disaster/Crises mindset
— Drop it!
– Best mindset
– Realize that this is part of a natural cycle; a grand turning of seasons. Nobody freaks out about Wet/Dry seasons, or Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter, and nobody should freak out about GCC. Just prepare sensibly, but on a longer time scale.
– Lack of human causation of GCC is not an excuse to not prepare
– Lack of human causation of GCC is not an excuse to continue to use inefficient fuel/power sources
– Lack of human causation of GCC is not an excuse to continue to pollute
— Chemical (e.g. Acid mine drainage)
— Biological (e.g. Homones in food, water system)
— Etc.

Alas, the formatting didn’t carry over very well… but as you can see, I don’t ascribe to either/or thinking in this, and I don’t, typically, in everything else in life. For instance, I don’t think that CO2 is the most pernicious thing going on, but rather, the pollution in our environment from all the other sources.

I think that power and energy generation should come from efficient, renewable sources, whether or not Global Warming or Cooling or whatever is the result. Living in harmony and using tech responsibly will be the key to the human species continuing to exist and thrive, and continue expanding to the stars.

Just a thought.

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GEOINT 2007 Logo

Okay, so I went to San Antonio Sunday night for GEOINT 2007, the “Nation’s Premier Intelligence Event,” or so they say.

It was, in fact pretty good. Some good keynote addresses, and panels. A particularly outstanding keynote was from Lt. General Russell Honore’. I won’t get into his talk here, but it was excellent. Motivational, but not in a pep talk kind of way–more of a “this is who you’re really working for” way.

My travel partner Dave had to go see “Disney’s High School Musical On Ice,” (no, I’m not kidding) with his daughter on Sunday, so we didn’t leave until like, 1900. Got into San Antonio around 0100, finally to bed around 0200. Hey–we were freakin’ hungry, so we had to do a Denny’s call.

As well as the keynotes and panels, good times were had, and networking was done. Lots of vendors there, so we toured the booths when we weren’t up listening to briefings, etc.

So for our crew, there was me, Dave, and Doug. My ol’ buddy and co-worker Jimbo was there, and our OSSIM crew, Dave B. and Scotty.

Monday night was “GEOWalk Hospitality Night,” which is geekspeak for going around the Riverwalk with a big plastic sheriff’s badge on, so that you can stop into some of the bars and get free food and drinks. Which is not really a bad thing.

The highlight of GEOwalk for me was that we had an old friend Jennifer along. Jen used to work with us up at our current customer site, but her husband (who’s in the Army) got relocated down to San Antonio.

He just got sent to Iraq, and she is newly with child (numbah three :), so I think we helped her a little with a little grounding in familiarity, if that makes any sense. But for me, it was sooo good to see her again! And a good time was had by all. She didn’t drink any alchohol, naturally, but she did wear a star, ‘coz Doug needed a night in (he’d been there with his wife since Friday).

It was mainly Jennifer, Dave, and me, but we ran into Jimbo, Dave B, and Scotty. Tuesday night we went out with the whole crew, including Doug (but not Jen–she only had the sitter for one night). There’s a big fish story here, but I don’t feel like writing it right now. Maybe later…

Anyhoo–Dave wanted to get back in time to go down to Blacksburg for the VT game, so we left 1700 on Wednesday, and I didn’t get home until 0300 Thursday morning. Man–what a long day! But I’m here.

I slept until the crack of noon (well, it was more like 1100), and later had a good PT session. Yup, ye olde kettlebells again. Did a relatively high-intensity interval session, patterned on Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Man Maker” from his “Enter The Kettlebell” book.

Basically, 10 minutes of high-rep kettlebell lifts; do the lifts until you’re breathing good and heavy, then do some active recovery to let the heart rate come down a bit, then back at it. Active recovery was light jog/walk and/or stick and heavy bag work. The lifts were the basics: snatches, long-cycle single arm clean and jerk, single arm swings. Rinse and repeat ’til finished.

Before that portion I warmed up with stick work (which I find really seems to loosen me up, especially the shoulders) and a set of bent press, which I haven’t done for a while.

After the interval session, I did a little more stick, and some various cool-down stretches. Nice.

Today’s workout was very light… I helped Nancy and Walt move the last of their stuff to a friend’s house. We put their ladders, a wheelbarrow, and a snow blower in my truck, then took it over to the friend’s and unloaded. Not a heavy effort. But something, at least.

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