Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Know someone who is being a bit waffley this election season or just complacent, or just not thinking their vote counts.

Well, get thee to this site and send them a little love note, with apologies to Ernest.

He already voted.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Saturday
I can't say it any better again.

The economy is still in the crapper. I went to the Vill today to pick up something from the pharmacy and decided to wander around. H&M was empty, lucky, Red Mango, Lucy, the Coach store and Victoria Secret, even the freaking Apple Store.

Fear not peeps, I did not go on a spending spree, I just noticed this as I walking by.

Well, okay, I bought a sweater at H&M, seventeen little 'droids on the sales floor and one could not be bothered to help me. I think I'll stick to catalog shopping and Nordstrom, in one case, I don't have to worry about being polite to the sales person. In the other case, I may actually get some customer service.

Gosh, if H&M is what is going to be the first step up the retail ladder to working in some small boutique in Belltown, managing a banana stand or an internship at Lucky Brands, these 'droids have got to learn a thing or two about personal interactions with their customers wielding cash.

nm would you like a belt to go with your hat?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Today I sat with childhood friends to support our incumbent governor and hear Al Gore discuss climate change and how far we need to go to change our lifestyles, our way of thinking and our dependence on fossil fuels. He is a great speaker, and while preaching to a choir of already fiercely democratic voters, I'm sure he enlightened more than one member of the packed room.

Gore also acknowledged a group of scientists that I am affiliated with who are assessing climate change impacts in the Arctic and others who work down the hall from me thatlook at how anthropogenic CO2 affects ocean acidification. My friend who accompanied me to this event, actually did some of this sampling off the West Coast.

Wouldn't it be cool to have your work highlighted?

It was wonderful to listen to a former vice president who understands the impacts of climate change, sea level rise, and necessity for better monitoring and assessment of these problems. Imagine life with a vice president who supports independence on foreign oil by doing more damage to the the Arctic Ecosystem and our near shore environments. I shudder and think and pray that it won't ever happen.

Imagine what we could do if we could start researching alternatives to fossil fuel- algae and other biofuels. We would be integrating biologists, chemists and engineers towards a greater good while solving some basic research issues.

Today I filled my tank up with gas that was under three dollars a gallon. Does the decrease in the price of gas mean that we'll continue our love affair with our car? Does this mean that we'll stop doing the practical and healthy things we have been easing into the last few months -- the carpooling, bike riding, and errand combining? Does this mean that you will get back behind the wheel of your SUV and drive for the sake of driving because dammit you can?

God I hope not.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

giving up/giving in

things from the market

Yesterday I had my lawn mowed and edged for the season. I held off for the whole year, but finally decided it needed doing. Now my lawn looks like it had a bikini wax, the normal, modest kind. Visualize it yourselves.

I hired the dog walker that takes care of Nicki, my neighbor's dog when he's out of town and Ernest's friend, Finnegan. Why? Because I just can't handle leaving work in the middle of the day. For some reason it breaks up my day to no end and Lord knows I am having a hard enough time focusing. So, when TH is gone, Ernest gets to hang with his homies and I get a break.

Giving in -- I am seriously reading too much news of the day and the news is giving me hives.

Giving up - reading too much news. I hate hives.

Larry David says it best.

The weekend is supposed to be sunny and beautiful. Other than dog walking, some distance walking if I can get it in and oven cleaning, I am going to try and put the long season garden to bed and soak in the sun. There is nothing I can do about my attractive thigh high tan before I go to Lanai, but at least my heart and soul can turn off the news and get back to basics.

over and out squeaking all the way

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

S is for Socialist

Happy saturday!


Honestly, this election makes me want to take three showers a day. I will be so happy when its over and we can focus our blogosphere on more important things like how to stretch a can of chicken noodle soup to last two meals and what it really means to be green.

As I tweeted earlier, every investment banker in the world can rot in hell.

God, I am so happy I have a job that is not dependent on the economy per se. I suspect that us scourges on the system (civil servants) will not see a COLA or a merit increase for the next four years. I see less travel and more videoconferencing. I see myself cringe when I see the bill for my professional society dues that I have to pay before I can justly chair or organize sessions in good faith.

I see some hard times past the two years some economists believe the "recession" is going to last. I see some hard choices that some of us are going to have to make. We are super lucky that we are blessed with a home, good jobs, no debt and some semblance of a dwindling nest egg.

I just hope this time we learn from this history that we are making.

If you have a few minutes while waiting for America's top model goes to rehab to come on - read Margaret Atwood's piece on the credit crisis and then turn off the boob tube or the laptop and go read a book.

nm which does not stand for neiman marcus

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A few things.

TJ's hors d'oeuvres for dinner are not a bad thing. Paired with a salad, its downright healthy.

I'm too bushed to cook. I am too scrimy to eat out, so its fridge clean out, pantry clean out and milk, lettuce, a few fun things and what is left at home is fair game. Today the Ernmeister hurked bile at 515 and things got fun after that, dog walk, gym, work, dog park, work, visiting the parentals, class, grocery store and more walks.

So, now I sit here, watching 30 rock on my friend's portable dvd player while trying to catch up on work. I am giving it three episodes and its curtains for me.

Boring here.

Oh, wait, if you are curious -- here is an amazing list of newspaper editorial endorsements -- the breadth and range of newspapers that have endorsed Senator Obama is amazing.

Other than that, I have signed up for the Seattle Half Marathon - I am looking to beat my split at Portland by 10 minutes. I better get cracking. I need to get some mileage in this weekend.

nm pro american and west of everything

Monday, October 20, 2008

blinding me with science

right before dinner, monday night

TH is in Iceland all week. She returns for about five hours and then turns around and goes right back out to Boulder. I am happy for her, she's getting some very deserved recognition for her work -- merging science, history and mapping along with her tireless efforts to explain to scientists that eventually all of this stuff needs to be explained to policy makers.

We call that dumbing down.

This year myself and a few of my colleagues on the other side of the country are looking to develop a workshop that will highlight some of these issues at our large annual meeting. We are trying to figure out the best way to do this -- teach people about how to use mapping technology for decision support. A lot of these folks have spent their careers developing programs and products to this for their own niche area which gives them the results they want. What we're trying to integrate is how all this works with the entire world -- not just a static image. We collect terrabytes of climate information daily that goes into huge models and gets churned, analyzed, reanalyzed, refitted, filtered, archived and visualized to predict climate variances or hazard assessment. How this fits in with our constantly changing world -- cities morph, road networks evolve, coastlines shift and all this information requires refreshing at a faster rate than most home grown programs can handle. It seems like the faster we pedal to figure out the best way to do something, something new comes up and changes the whole show.

I like it, most of the time.

I often wonder why I didn't pursue my second career that I spent three hard years in studio and the archives and returned to science. Maybe it was a comfort thing, maybe it was my lack of self confidence at designing master planned communities. I think the tools I picked up along the way -- project management, planning principles, some semblance of design theory along with the beginnings of a GIS background made me a better and more rounded researcher. If I had stayed in my job, I would have probably ended up a JAVA programmer writing code for one-off projects that may seen the light after the final report was written. I may have left my comfortable existence and gone to work for one, two or seven dot coms and made a ton of money to lose it all again.

Yeah, I'm a scientist. I can't help it. I am curious, I want answers and that is not a bad way to approach the world.

It has taken me ten years to become comfortable with this. I no longer pretend that this is just another break in my life and I'll find something that will make me astoundingly happy. I may complain at times, but every little blip I see a time series, every map we create that shows a level of risk and every discussion that engages policy wonks with scientists and has both parties coming out learning something new makes me realize that step by step, the things I do make some sort of difference.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hey JOE!


I spent the debate listening to McCain snivel and snort (note to self: call bro to ask him to analyze McCain's snort), twittering and replying to a long OMNI post on flyertalk.

I believe my presidential pick will occur and I for one and many of my friends and family will hug, scream and believe that we may have a chance for a better America.

Now I'm worried about our own gubernatorial race. Its so close. My focus and money is going towards keeping Christine Gregoire in office. She's done a good job so far and I would like her to do the same for the next four years. I just wish she was more willing to either retaliate to Rossi or just campaign dammit.

How about you? What are you doing to keep your local elected officials elected or new one's to fill their place.

nm the scientist

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

little one

Ernest's stomach has been punky for the last day. He's happy to do almost anything include eat, but clearly that is not agreeing with him. The vet examined him and said it was either something he tangled with (roast of beef?) or something that is going around the neighborhood -- a virus of sorts. He's seen lots of dogs with the same sort of symptoms.

Nothing is harder than denying your dog his dinner and doling out meager rations of white rice and chicken breast every four hours in hopes it will stay down.

Anytime he gets sick, I worry. I did not give birth to him, but I still feel like I have known him since his early weeks of life. To me, he is still perfect -- with very few things that could possibly go wrong with him at his young age. To see him feeling under the weather kills me. To have him look at me accusingly as I try to eat my dinner is even worse than death.

Its been almost 90 minutes since his 1/2 cup of rice and .5 oz of chicken breast. Here's to hoping it will stay down for the next 270 minutes. If not, its going to be a long night of Ernest, myself and the couch.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Um, I have stopped caring about the economy.

It only costs me 61 dollars to fill my tank every 10 days.

I have only now reduced my losses to half of my yearly salary (give or take), in the latest economic downturn! Everything is still okay! We are winning wars everywhere, the surge is working, people are happy with the dollar meal menu choices at McDonalds, Dancing with the Stars is still a big hit, and 90210 is back on the air. Long live the 80s, long live consumerism!

As for my money, after all, I'm whining about me. It should only take me five years to get it back if I want it in cash and still maintain a decent lifestyle of occasional travel, clothing purchases and new tires. I know my income did not decrease by 25-40%, but honestly, it just makes me not want to spend a penny unless I absolutely have to.

The brighter side -- we're all paying more attention to what the hell is going on with our money, right?

nm ready to keel haul an investment banker into shark infested waters

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Awesome 13.1 split
Slow second half
Not bad overall time
One blister
One lost toenail
3 cheers for TH and ernest who not only waited in the rain to cheer me on and tolerated my bitchy whiny obsession for the last two weeks

I am taking the week off from energetic persuits.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Estimated finish time

Underestimate and be surprised

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Is it o.k to want to hurl because you are scared out of your pants?

I'm so afraid that I will not finish this marathon tomorrow in time.

I'm afraid I can't make the distance.

I'm afraid that I'm going to lose at least one toenail on the course.

I'm afraid of failing.

At least the weather prognostication is for a few sprinkles and then overcast,so I'm not going to either overheat or get uncomfortably wet.


26 miles are easy, the last .2 will kill me.

Friday, October 03, 2008

wooden arrows galore - or I have nothing of note to say at the moment

Taken verbatim, only the names have been changed to protect the one innocent:

(11:18:29 AM) T_half: so wall street just got a 700B reward for fucking up
(11:19:49 AM) yo_naz: yup, and i may be able to retire before i am 89.
(11:20:02 AM) yo_naz: so what, there are 119 billion in ear marks in the new bill.
(11:20:11 AM) yo_naz: you want everything to go in the toilet?
(11:20:18 AM) T_half: politics as suual
(11:20:22 AM) T_half: usual that is
(11:20:44 AM) T_half: am not convinced that everything would go in the toilet if bill wasn't passed.
(11:20:57 AM) T_half: but we always need corporate socialism
(11:21:13 AM) T_half: we will be paying for this and the invasion of Iraq for the rest of our lives
(11:21:56 AM) T_half: i want the tradeoff to be a whomping excess profits tax - but that will never happen. look at the fricking oil companies
(11:22:22 AM) yo_naz: I personally think that every single non breeding individual who has no debt should get
a 5000 deduction this year for paying taxes that help the breeding non complying foreclosing 2008
car buying tivo and dish owning costco going 40K in credit card debt that will also be bailed
out later this year.
(11:22:42 AM) yo_naz: oh wait, another 500 dollar deduction for not
owning a storage unit.
(11:26:46 AM) T_half: i like that
(11:27:57 AM) yo_naz: Yah!
(11:28:04 AM) yo_naz: I'm going to have to blog that.