Wednesday, November 19, 2008

i need to take some more pictures
Today in my first meeting of the day we were talking about social networking application in relation to projects that my organization uses for public outreach. Not only blogs, but facebook, youtube and twitter. Imagine -- updating your twitter to tell your constituent/data users that there is a new cruise's worth of bottle data available for their viewing or that you have updated the most recent model runs with last year's climatologies reanalyzed the way a MBA massaged the derivative markets in the last five years.

In some cases, I'm seeing amazing uses for some of these outlets. As long as you don't get sucked into them as a vortex that causes you amnesia and makes you forget why you started looking on the tubes of the internets in the first place. My guess is not to search the latest site for some library or API you might need to make the widget work better. ;)

Sending a text message about an update to a forecast might get more attention than the 100th reply all that is sent to a large newsgroup that should have just been addressed to the original poster. Linking with someone on and then recommending some connection who might have skills you need is also useful. I'm not a big facebook fan, but I'm sure there must be some reason that you would have a facebook page featuring marine protected areas, but I'm not sure quite why.

Hey, these days nothing shocks me.

signing off the tubes, they are filling with smoke as we speak.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Good things

A seven pound box of jules destrooper biscuits and cote d'or goodies from Antwerp via Berkeley arriving on your doorstep.

Waking up at 4 am to pill a sleepy dog and have you TH offer to do it.

A chocolate cake with mocha buttercream frosting and a glass of cold milk.

Finding a dress three months before a wedding that all your friends and your mother agree on.

Having your basset sit on you feet while snoring quietly.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

persimmon solo

I have nothing witty to say today. I'm putting off canning quince preserves, making turkey stock and ironing a bunch of shirts.

It must have been all that sunshine that alluded us yesterday and showed up today to taunt us.

I was more than happy to come home at lunch and take the dog for a walk. I wanted so badly to find a sun patch and lounge for an hour. I did take my sweet time getting back -- running a few errands along the way to postpone the afternoon in front of this infernal machine.

In the fall and winter, I marvel at the kids I see walking to school in their shorts. We take advantage of even the weakest sun here in the 98105 to absorb any vitamin D. Today I did the same --- skirt with bare legs -- it appears that those hours sitting and reading in Lanai revived the little tan I procured this summer. I will milk it and enjoy it while I can because jeans and slacks are soon on the way.

I did draw the line at footwear. I have retired my flip flops until the temperature reaches 70 degrees, I do have my standards.

I am currently plotting another trip to Kauai. I'm not sure when (probably in mid April) and not at a resort, but maybe where there were old Plantation cottages with croquet grounds. All sorts of new and restrictive frequent flyer rules go into effect soon and I want to make sure that I get all my tickets in a row before I lose my favorite award redemptions.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

squash redux 2

Erm, I have consumer lust.

I am trying to contain it.

I may have to succumb.

Well, only with free shipping and another 300 dollars off and all that other good stuff and after I review my spending plan for the next quarter.

TH and I watched a bunch of movies when we were in Lanai. Really, there is absolutely nothing do there after the sun sets other than go to dinner or play canasta. I fell in love with a tv. I, who rarely watches any tv, but is now impressed with the clarity of Matt Damon's sweaty pecs on a 42" LCD HD tv.

Listen, I didn't even turn the puppy on to see what the regular stations looked like, I just want to watch Flight of the Conchords in living color.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

fall bulbs, cyclamen II

Today was an amazingly sunny and warm day, the kind that makes you check the calendar to really make sure it is the middle of November. Sixty degrees means gardening in short-sleeves, laundry that dries on the line, and prolonged bulb planting sessions that don't make your knees ache.

TH and I ran errands this morning -getting ready for Thanksgiving feasts and the days between those feasts. We purchased cranberries, potatoes, celery, carrots, brussel sprouts and chanterelles to be used for stuffing, dressings and chutneys. Blackberries, rhubarb, raspberries picked from the garden will be used for desserts. Hubbard squash and apple sauce will also appear on the table, whether I like them or not, they are standard fare and every year they disappear.

This year, our family has a lot to be thankful for -- marriages to happen, new life added to the family and more on the way, good health for all of us and hope, even among all the bad economic news that things are going to improve.

The next few weeks are going to be hectic. Work is ramping up with new projects, TH is swamped, yet more travel and the holidays are creeping up. I cannot believe how fast the year has gone by at times.

I hope things can slow down enough tomorrow that I can savor every moment in the warming autumn sun.


Friday, November 14, 2008

recession, what recession?

I will admit that we're all a bit on the edge about the economy. I hope this is what is contributing to my eight tums a day habit.

If you were to walk into a hip Seattle eatery on a Thursday night, you would be hard pressed to believe that we're in trouble peeps.

A couple of weeks ago, I ate at Poppy, Jerry Traunfeld's new place. While the food was good, the service was atrocious, the setting bland and cheap looking and the meal was expensive. The place was packed with hipsters galore and they just keep on coming.

Allen Wong's in Honolulu -- packed.

Barolo last night - at 8:30 -- packed, so packed that we came in and turned right back out and went to the Dahlia Lounge instead and still had to wait.

Tonight (I know, this is bad) , we got to Pair at 5:20 pm. We were one of the first people seated - by 6 pm, the resto was 3/4 full, by the time we left --7:30 pm it was packed.

None of these places would be considered inexpensive and my guess is that most of the people eating didn't save up their pennies for a once a month splurge. These are regular restaurant goers and they are still going in droves.

Maybe its because some of us are seeing the recession differently... I'm not so much hurt on a day to day level, but all the money we have carefully put away is dwindling away. Its not a bad place to be in comparison to many others. However, at times I feel guilty as heck for not staying home and eating rice and beans.

For some, grabbing dinner out is just sustenance and fuel. I believe these days, some of us are going out to dine finely only to be reassured by seeing others out enjoying a meal and not so much drowning our sorrows, but shoving them to the side to enjoy a fennel salad or a perfectly cooked veal chop and enjoy being entertained and being entertaining.

vip diner --

Thursday, November 13, 2008

getting better rice grain by rice grain

Dang, I'm tired.

4 am dog stomach coating sessions are really overrated.

The patient is much better.


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Nothing sucks more than trying to figure out what is wrong with your
tiny dog
This seriously sucks, but his grandmere has provided him with freshly poached chicken breast and we are being good dog moms and holding his paw

Poor ernest
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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

15 minutes home and
laundry has started
Bag unpacked
Bag put away
Sick Dog walked
Mail sorted
Rice started for sick dog

Vacation is really

a. Over
b. Overrated
c. All of the above
d. None of the above
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Monday, November 10, 2008

Eternity --- five hours in Lahaina without wheels nor a need for a maui tee shirt.

So happy to be back in Lanai where TH and I were treated to a croquet lesson. Sweet.

Tomorrow we schelp back home.

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Here today

Gone to Maui

Lahaina to be more specific
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Sunday, November 09, 2008

Croquet with mai tai
Too many people by pool (can't drink at beach)
Bournes 1 and 2 watched

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Friday, November 07, 2008

We are in Lanai surrounded by pine trees and wild turkeys with nary a palm tree nor grass skirt in sight.

The middle of the island is lovely and cool. Approximately 15 degrees cooler than the beach.

I could get used to this.

Tomorrow we head to the beach and then siesta up at the lodge. The Lanai farmers market should be fun and so will walking around the very cute Lanai City.

Later taters
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Diamond head
Sherwood forest
Corner room with views of ocean and diamond head
Alan Wong tasting menu
A mild breeze lulls one to sleep
Aloha sweet dreams
Tomorrow lanai
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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Yes you did

All I have to say is this restored my faith in America.

This is one of the happiest days of my life.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

who let the freaks out

This thread in particular.

Other than that, I am particularly looking forward to a large cup of hot chocolate and cookies and some sort of sleep aid tomorrow night.

If you haven't for some insane reason voted yet, for shits sake, if you don't tomorrow, I will be really pissed, even if you vote a completely republican ticket.

I am seriously amazed that in this day and age, people still just don't vote.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Sunday wrap up

Dog park
Hanging with homies
Dutiful avoidiance of leaf raking and bulb planting
Dvd watching
Quince jam making
Lazy blackberry blogging
Good night
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Saturday, November 01, 2008

as far as the eye could see

Today is the beginning of NaBloPoMo. Really. I

Even with my desire to drink mai-tais and pretend that the last few months of this wretched back biting hideous makes you feel dirty campaign to pick our next commander-in-chief didn't unfold the way it has.


When we contemplated going away for a few days in November, I considered leaving on election day because well, we would be over the Pacific with absolutely no clue as to what happened for five lovely hours. Then I realized that that would drive me batty. In 2000, we thought we had it in the bag and lost it due to dirty Floridian politics and the election went on forever. It was not a happy time for us, Jacques was deathly ill and we were scared for our lives. We also missed nearly of a week of a ten day vacation to Italy to visit our friends and do some touring. The whole time we were in a haze. Every time we would think something would seem resolved, something else would hurtle us backwards. By the time we got to Rome -- via three I kid you not changes to our tickets (keeping our upgrades the whole way) and a detour to Milan we were nervous wrecks.

This time, it seems that we are nervous wrecks without a sick animal.

So, this Tuesday, I will tele-work so that I can get some uninterrupted writing time. I will shut off wireless so that I do not obsess. I will go to class at 6 pm as usual. What is my waiting around listening to NPR and do other that make me even more anxiety ridden? Our television is black and white, so this whole blue/red thing is not happening for us. I am definitely an aural person these days.

Again, I do not believe anything is sewn up until I see the newspaper headlines that are going to make me scream from the rooftops and cry with joy because we may actually regain a few civil rights and give this country some hope and glory that it desperately needs.

Don't you think so as well?

On Thursday, around 9:40 am, I am planning on drinking my first of many mai-tais -- ushering in good times for a few days in the sunshine and hopefully for the next four years.

If you get what you want -- election-wise what are you planning on doing?

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.
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Estimated finish time

Underestimate and be surprised

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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.

Monday, September 29, 2008

life in a nutshell




Other than that, I would like to thank co workers and students alike for attending work and classes when you should be at home getting better instead of passing on your god damned colds to me.

I appear to be clenching my jaw at night, gee I wonder why?

Tonight, I'm toast. I went to memorial service/open house, came home, dealt with life and now realize that I have more of life to deal with.

It is just going to have to wait.

I'm going to bed, with a ton of aspirin and airborne in my system.

nm choo

Friday, September 26, 2008


Tomorrow, I don't have a thing scheduled.


On the list of things that I want to do -- Farmer's market, dog park, garden, mulch, read, and hang out with the dog.

Life is good.

The following day, Missy and I are going to do 10 miles together and then I'm going to try another 15.

I have to keep a pace of 3.4 miles to make the cut at the Portland Marathon. My best time is about 3.15 for a half, so a whole would be 6.30. That would be amazing and probably not attainable.

My colleague suggests to go with the flow - not run when I can walk, but honestly, this is my goal for the year to do this marathon and do it right.

Balance is hard.

I don't want to injure myself and I know my pace -- I am fast at the start, miles 3 through 11 sail by and the last miles seem to drag and this is a half. I wonder how I will do in a whole. I guess I will find out soon enough.

The Portland Marathon touts itself as a mp3 friendly marathon. I am really debating buying a new nano. My shuffle is fine for short races, but I like the idea of seeing what I am listening to. I just hate buying new toys because of one need. I wonder if I can just realize that I live with the shuffle and then just listen to the rhythm of my own body for ten or so miles.

Yeah, I think I'll do that.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All I can say today is that I do not look forward to tomorrow in the financial world.

I'm thinking that I'm willing to take another moderate hit to my retirement if it means that change in our government and you know what I mean.

I had lunch with my parents today. My mom has never really discussed politics and really, if you want to know the truth, its not her thing. Today she went off on Palin, not so much Sarah as Todd.

Todd Palin, had I known you were in the hood yesterday, let alone, my old stomping grounds, I would have paid the 1000 buckeroos just to shove him in the ass, well, maybe I would have sent my mom instead, she has better jewelry and manners.

Seriously. This whole thing is becoming a train wreck.

I'm soon to stop all this pontificating, but honestly, I'm just gobsmacked by these last few weeks of the campaign. Seeing the pundits compare Palin to Kay Bailey Hutchinson and Olympia Snow is ludicrous. She just doesn't hold a candle to many other fine women politicians out there and I'm not sure she'll ever get there.

nm fuming and spewing (laying off the caf tomorrow)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

being the donkey

In Farsi, the word for donkey is khar. Its pronounced HAAAR. We use it a lot around here to to discuss stupid people. Its a thing my family does.

This evening I called my dad to get his take on Bushie's speech. He said hold on tight, the market will come back. This is a man who has gained and lost way more than I could ever dream of having in volatile markets. However, these days I'm thinking that not only are we who gamble in the long term are going to get the shit kicked out of them, but those who think that everything is going to be ok.


We as a nation are khars. Yes, we are. Its not just predatory mortgage lenders and Goldman Sachs's interns who came up with the derivatives that the Kingdom of Brunei bought and sold that caused the recent financial crisis.

It is us, stupid stupid us [the US populace].

Those of us who thought that we would take money out of our hideously overpriced home not to send our kids to college, but to finance our new televisions, ATVs, trip to Alaska (moose hunting?).

It is us, who thought that we could afford that 500,000 dollar house in the burbs as as starter home bigger than anything we really needed or wanted, but it was there.

It is us who jumped from credit card to credit card to get the better deal and then forgot the introductory period lasted 15 seconds.

It is us who just didn't wait the 5 minutes to think something through and pressed the buy it now button on the computer and ended up with major buyer's remorse.

It is us who just couldn't remember what it was like to learn to keep something for another few wears, another season, another person even if we had the money to buy the latest thing.

It is us who needed the latest thing because everyone else had it.

It is us who not only bought a house with no money down, but also financed a car we couldn't afford, ate out every lunch, bought food that we ended up throwing out at the end of the week because we forgot we bought it because we were eating out and not really thinking.

It is us who used our credit cards, debit cards and fast pays at Starbucks, au bon pain and Peets daily because we just couldn't bother to make a pot of coffee at home and bring our own cup.

It is us who thought that things would just go on and be fine even as we saw our portfolios dwindle and those little dips in our retirement accounts grow bigger.

It is us who laughed at our grandparents and parents because they lived through hard times -- Depressions, occupations, revolutions and hardships and now have it so good. These same people realize the value of a dollar, shekel and toman and still think before committing one penny to it.

It is us who thought that the person who chose to live simply, not upgrade their house with every promotion and chose to pay off their mortgages to have that safety net were insane.

Yeah, we're all khars now.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

thorp exposed v1.3

TH is out of town. I'm not going to say again, since in the past it was me fleeing from the scene of the crime and she was stuck with house/dog/life.

She has flits of work travel happening for the next few months. My well has run dry so to speak --- one meeting in December. Everything/everyone else is coming to me these days.

I like that.

I believe I have recovered from the 3 day. I will spend this weekend writing thank you notes and getting ready for my next event. The few people I have been emailing or talking with have experienced the same set of emotions as I have, which I find reassuring.

As my pal Deb said, "I wouldn't have believed the things people warned or told me about until I experienced it myself". That is one smart woman.

Courtney does a great job of summing up the event. I can add a few things.

I walked with one person, it made things faster. Everyone I knew that walked in a group felt really bogged down by the hurry up and waiting.

I will never ask for advice when dealing with a blister. I now know how patients waiting to be discharged from the hospital feel like.

I was happy to sleep in my own bed on Saturday.

I am thankful that Missy doesn't mind sleeping with the tent wide open to deal with my hyperventilating claustrophobia.

I am thankful for the not found in nature "uncrustable". Next time go with a better flavor of jelly.

I am thankful for Sean and Amelia who hung with me on Saturday night.

I am completely floored by the dedication of Ruth and Loretta for stalking us. I think I have said this over and over again. They have no idea what it did for our flagging morale.

I am beyond thankful for a 15.7 mile Sunday. Piece of cake.

I am thankful that I am healthy.

I should be back to normal blogging. As normal as I get. I have nothing of note to say. I hate Fall. I hate pants. I hate short days and leaf raking. Bring back Spring!


Monday, September 22, 2008


I can't get into this now. I just have no strength to say anything witty.

Sad, isn't it?

I can wear shoes now!

I am going to try and go for six miles sometime on Wednesday (when I have no idea).

Saturday I'm heading for eightteen or nineteen depending on the rain.

I'm wondering who had the brilliant idea of doing a marathon in two weeks.

Oh wait, that was me.

I'm sure it will be fine, right?

nm back in black

Friday, September 19, 2008

Being bad

I will be back tomorrow. Promise.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday wrap up

Tears shed - a few
Blisters - one small and treatable
Miles walked - 21 give or take
Training miles - 800
Meatballs - one
Memories of the mammaries - many

Tomorrow Redmond and Kirkland-
It is going to be longish - 23 miles and warm so I am hoping to be on the road at 630 to beat the heat

Thank you each and everyone for your good vibes and generous support these last 26 weeks

You rock!
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Is it me?

Am I the only one who wretches everytime I see Sarah Palin on TV?

Okay, I don't really watch tv, but I did just see her on the cover of TIME.

I wonder if she's ever read it?

From Courtney -- I may just have to rent the Bourne series now.

Does every middle American soccer mom sit there at the Starbucks over their skinny non fat no whip vanilla latte and dream of being president some day? I know that I maybe be a little left of center, but nothing recently has really ticked me off as this.

Do you realize that my dad could be McCain and I could be Palin?

Hey dad, can I have the keys to AirForce One?

nm back on track

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm walking the 3 day this weekend. I'm almost at my goal! Ernest is going dig deep to get me there.

If you are in Seattle, bored or just want to cheer me on. I'll be the one walking and talking too much and not wearing pink.

Here is the listing of cheering stations. I'm happy to say that R&L, TH and Ernest and Missy's Frank will be visiting us along the way.

Friday, September 12:

9:00 am - 1:00 pm
First Baptist Church and Pilgrim Lutheran Church parking lots
10431 SE 11th St. and 10420 SE 11th St.
(Parking is also available at Church of Christ off of SE 11th St.)
Bellevue, WA 98004

10:00 am - 2:00 pm
McCormick Park
NE 12th St. between 106th Pl NE and 112th Ave. NE
(Parking is available across the street and in nearby neighborhood)
Bellevue, WA 98004

Saturday, September 13:

8:30 am - 11:00 am
Spectralux Corporation
12335 - 134th Court NE
Redmond, WA 98052

11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Ben Franklin Elementary
12434 NE 60th Street
Kirkland, WA 98033

Sunday, September 14:

8:00 am - 11:00 am
Green Lake Park
7201 E Green Lake Dr. N
Seattle, WA 98115
Click here for map of cheering area

I'm taking next weekend off.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

slightly left of center
I am back, I am swamped, I am fine.

Way too many pictures and thoughts for the five minutes I have to share with you.

The 3 day, my manuscript revisions, countless work obligations, the upcoming presidential elections (ugh, Palin, ugh, barf) and the tristesse of dusk at 7:40 is too much to bear.

This last trip made me realize that I do enjoy active trips -- not just tromping around Rome or the Perigord, but hiking for three to four hours a day is appealing, as long as it is followed by a night in a hotel.

I'm thinking the Dolomites or Croatia, somewhere with better coffee than Illulisat.


Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday update

First of all.. other than a few stray ice pellets hitting me on taxi, I could get used to flying non stop to London and in a class of service that is way above my means.

Other than the first business/first class flight that TH spoiled me with while in grad school and our Qantas biz segment from Los Angeles to Aukland, this flight rocked the free world.

Now I am in Copenhagen with a million affluent baby boomers who are cruising somewhere.

Is it the way of their tribe to display all their wealth on their fingers and wrists? Serious overkill peeps, it looks like breeding plumage at the bird sanctuary.

I have walked around for about an hour and a half, but alas nothing currently slays me. It could be due to tiredness or the grey weather or that everything I wanted to see is closed already. I cannot get over the number of UK and US chains I am seeing!

Welcome to a brave new world.

Maybe next time I will be more enthused about CPH. I am currently sitting in a decent looking resto awaiting my white asparagus starter.
The waiter has taken pity on me and brought me a standard pitcher of Danish tap water. I love him.

On the Greenland front TH reports sunny weather in Manitsoq, so at least we have something to look forward to.

nm minding her ps and qs

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This is the day

It really bums me out that I am missing the DNC. Last time around I saw Senator Kerry give his last speech in front of the Philadelphia Art Museum right before he accepted the nomination at the DNC.

We watched speeches with some of our colleagues from Boulder who were delegates in 2000.

This year one of my childhood friends is one of the Washington delegates. I am so proud of her as I am of everyone who gives their time and sweat to bring forth poositive change to this country.

As I sit in the lounge before my journey I am watching the breaking story of no roll call for the delegates. As a child this was my favorite part of the conventions -of any party.

The delegates from each state casting their votes and all the cheering. It made me proud to be an American.

Today I am bummed to miss the acceptance speech of who I believe will make this country strong again.

Its just not the same on youtube.

Watch today and tomorrow and wish I could be in your living room with you tomorrow.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

really, really must be going part 2

nearly fall
Time to really get going. Everything is done, its just the final packing that seems to be the issue. Do I really need all this crap? Can I get away with doing laundry at the hostel? Does it really matter as long as I don't smell like a seal when I get to London?

It'll be intermittent from now on, but I know you all will behave while I'm lollygagging in Greenland and Iceland. Apparently, there is no way I can get scrubbed/rubbed and tubbed at the blue lagoon, so piss on that.


Check out my flickr for some moblogging.



Monday, August 25, 2008

TH took this -- view from the hill of the Nuuk harbor.

I am leaving in about 40 hours give or take a few.

I have yet to pack.

Well, I have sort of a pile of stuff to take. I just realized that my flight from Copenhagen to Nuuk is six hours in COACH - with one stop along the way. I better pack another book.

I am packing for 34 degrees F to 78 degrees F. I'm thinking that Nuuk may hit 65 on the first day I'm there.


All sorts of fashion questions come to mind. Can I get away with wearing capris with mosquito netting and then just a down vest and long tshirt? What about fleece? What about flip flops?

Its hard to be fashionable when you are going to the Arctic.

Frankly, the weather here is not that seasonably appropriate, so maybe a trip to Greenland will be warmer.

nm looking forward to sitting backwards

Thursday, August 21, 2008

funky sign atlanta

Funky town.

I have lots to say, but nothing really that I want to discuss right at the moment.

Don't worry internets, I am good and so is the whole clan.

TH is safely ensconced with seamen in Nuuk where the current temperature is 37 degrees and raining!




Tuesday, August 19, 2008

My mom bought a laptop a few weeks ago. It sat and sat until someone had the time to show her how to use it.

Until last week, my mom had never touched a computer.

Now she has mail.

She's a quick learn as long as you are a patient teacher.

TH is much more patient than I.

The strangest thing I have ever seen is my mom in the glow of a laptop screen.

The most amazing thing is that she writes just as if she was talking to you.

Now she is no longer dependent on my dad to see pictures of her great grand niece, Ernest, other friends' kids and little snippets of jokes from friends 1000's of miles away.

I don't see her getting on facebook anytime soon, but I like the fact she took it in her own hands to learn.

My mom, she's a pistol.

Monday, August 18, 2008

the keenest of peaches

variety is the spice of life

On the hottest day of the year, I bought two cases of peaches for canning. It always seems to be that we start preserving for the fall and long winter when the mercury rises about 90 degrees. We don't get started until after the dinner dishes are done and all the jars are scrubbed and ready to go and we don't end until way past our regular bedtimes.

Frankly, I was happy to see the rain and wind and cool temperatures of Monday. I was even happier to get the show of canning on the road before 9 pm.

The peaches we got are wonderful, they are seconds - blemished, but they are juicy, perfectly ripe and locally grown. While we have two peach trees in our garden that typically produce well, this year we have not one peach thanks to a mismatch between bees, flowers and our typically flaky weather.

I miss picking peaches off the tree this year.

I also missed the opportunity to pick peaches off the tree this spring when we went to visit the communities near Fresno that grow amazing varieties of peaches on small scale family farms. The cold weather had us off the first harvest by a crucial week. However, it was still fun to watch our friend Paul jump up on the processing line and show us all the facets of peach packing. Trust me, you had to be there.

Most of all, peaches signify to me the beginning of a long lasting relationship between food, TH and myself. Our first real date involved ten hours together going in search of peppers, peaches and warm weather in the 509. On the way home we stopped to get some peaches. When we got back to TH's house, we needed to make a cobbler for a dinner party to which we were both invited.

The peaches were not ripe and TH and I boiled the life out of them to get them to soften.

It was the act of cooking together and trying to figure out how to make something good out of something bad that made me realize that there was something here that was real.

I think TH felt the same way.

Other than the cobbler, we both don't remember much about the what else was served that night, but we laugh every time we think of that peach cobbler.

Here's to more moments of brilliance in life and the kitchen

Saturday, August 16, 2008

carrying on


Today I walked by myself before the heat of the day. My training plan has me at 10 miles today and eight tomorrow. I walked 7 before 8 am fueled by Aimee Mann, Franz Ferdinand, Cold Play and assorted tunes. I carried nothing but my ipod and my house keys.

It felt good.

Today was the first time in something like eight weeks I was able to go to the Farmer's market with TH, do the TJs run and assorted other errands. I think she liked it until I began to micromanage her purchase of goat cheese.

Then she turned to me and said "don't you have another three miles to do?"


While the mercury rises to 92 degrees today, I will start packing for my trip to Greenland. A few days ago at a lunch with a group of people that work with TH, we mentioned Greenland and one of the women at lunch mentioned she had just returned from a work trip to Ilillusiat and had her packing list.

This is a woman after TH's heart.

Greenland for seven days with one carry on and one personal item.

Her list is wonderful, informative and timely.

TH will probably carry on Boston and then surrender her bag to Iceland Air in hopes that it will show up in Nuuk. I am taking my chances that British Airlines will get my bag to Copenhagen in one piece- while I am a big fan of the no check/no worries of bags, this time I fly with a trekking backpack its just not going to work while going through the terminals of Heathrow. Its a given that Air Greenland will make me check my bag from Copenhagen to Nuuk via Kang, it just a weight and balance thing.

It feels good to carry on -- with life and with baggage, you just have to pick and choose which parts you can live without for the journey.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

one word

to the sky

Stolen from Jen, because I can't be bothered to discuss preservation on various and sundry levels.

Play along, link and think. This is hard, especially for people like me who just can't self monitor.

1. Where is your cell phone? work tote
2. Where is your significant other? present
3. Your hair? tousled
4. Your mother? awesome
5. Your father? ditto
6. Your favorite thing? contentment
7. Your dream last night? nonexistent
8. Your dream/goal? contentment
9. The room you're in? study
10. Your hobby? reading
11. Your fear? boredom
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? retired
13. Where were you last night? bookclub
14. What you're not? calm
16. One of your wish list items? relaxation
17. Where you grew up? medina
18. The last thing you did? concertgoing
19. What are you wearing? skort!
20. Your TV? huh?
21. Your pet? ernest! 509!
22. Your computer? laptop
24. Your mood? good
25. Missing someone? ernest
26. Your car? sturdy
27. Something you're not wearing? socks
28. Favorite store? bookstore
29. Your summer? jumbled
30. Love someone? yes
31. Your favorite color? green
32. When is the last time you laughed? today
33. Last time you cried? today

Monday, August 11, 2008

insert something witty here

I am catching up on email
I have something deep and meaningful to blog about, really, but its going to have to wait until tomorrow.

Today I am going to tell you that nothing beats trying to find a pair of hiking/trail shoes for my upcoming trip to Greenland.

Who thought that trail runners would be forward thinking at the same time tailored.

Who would think that at 23:48 PDT anyone would care.

nm forward thinking and carbon neutral

Friday, August 08, 2008

being and nothingness

with miles to go

Right, where was I?

Last weekend, I camped. Yes, tent, thermarest pad, banana boats and 40 miles of walking.

It was fun! Well, not the thermarest part. The last time I slept on my thermarest I was 10 years younger. I will be borrowing R&L's plusher version for the 3 day.

We did it.

J & I walked, bitched, laughed, burned and learned a lot last weekend.

Check out some of the pictures here.

The rest of the week was spent in San Diego at the enormous conference that I go to yearly and in at which I am forced to do much outreach. Actually, I like it, but this year I did not feel much love and perhaps it may be that I have been so out of the actual technology use and more involved in planning, assessing and creating the all mighty power point presentation.

Hopefully that will change soon.

It was strange to be in San Diego and not be with my parents, ditto for TH. I miss going home and sitting and chatting. My mom said that it was good that we have good memories of SD and La Jolla, not of my parents aging or needing our help.

Someone today asked me if I ever worried about them getting old and not being here any more.

Honestly, not often. They are here for the moment and I cherish each and everyone I get to spend with them. Without sounding corny, I love it when my father calls at work to ask my advice about something or watching my mom's eyes light up as we unlock the door to their house and just stop by to say hi.

Today, TH's mother would have had a very special birthday. We wanted to celebrate it in style, but the day just didn't turn out as we had planned. There were procurement contracts to write, fires to tame and abstracts to submit. We will celebrate a bit later and toast a woman whom I never met, but believe I would have loved with all of my heart.

Friday, August 01, 2008

it all ends in tears

going for a ride

Originally I was going to use this title to discuss the opera, my shallow understanding of it and how as much as I try to understand it, I'm maybe just too well, not interested.

Then I read Kerri's blog about having to put Kubrin Kaos out of his pain.

The last month I have shed many a tear over Kerri and Brian's losses. For those who do not know them -- it is through Kerri and Brian's amazing talent of describing the antics of a once-tiny basset hound puppy who traveled by container ship from England to the Falkland Islands that I made dozen friends on through dogs that blog and through flickr. Some whom I have met in real life person.


I cannot describe the love and patience and devotion Kerri and Brian show daily to all of the dogs they have fostered over the years. You can see it in their pictures, their words, but nothing is like watching it in action.

I was floored when I watched her take care of the SUMDs (skinny ugly mutant dogs) in person when I visited last September.

To give your time, your house, your heart to a pack of older, sometimes not placeable anywhere else rescue dogs and make them the happiest the dogs on the planet is no easy feat. They did it with grace and love.

Yesterday TH and I were talking about our December trip to London and visiting with Kerri and Brian and the SUMDs and five minutes later we hear about Kubrin.

Last week TH was emailing back and forth with Ernest’s breeder and Ernest’s desire for a Great Dane as a brother. S. mentioned that big dogs die too young and there is too much heartache involved. She may be right, but the eight years they make you smile and laugh and steal your heart may just be worth it.

Sleep tight Kubrin and give Meggie Moo a kiss from me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

sweet spot


After two years of a new stereo in my very old car, I finally started using the ipod adapter.

Seriously, what is up with that?

The dog, he is not taken with my musical taste.

I bought a dress three weeks ago for a wedding this weekend. I tried it on once, I thought it looked okay. I wasn't in the mood to try looking anymore.

I tried it on today with the proper undergarments. It looks better than okay. Woot.

Man, I hope there is air conditioning at the church and reception hall.

Twenty two hours in Spokane with 90 degree heat and a full bar. Could be interesting.

later taters and if I see Courtney while driving around, it'll be even better.

nm wondering if open toed kitten heels will make it to the church on time

Thursday, July 24, 2008

sell out

Sold out

I love live music and I love Seattle, so when the zootunes schedule comes out we find a few artists that we like and we buy tickets. Its for a good cause, all of the ticket sales go directly to the Zoo.


However, I cannot tolerate the shows any more.

What is it about sitting outdoors and listening to some great music that makes people want to talk during the whole show and make it difficult for those around them to enjoy the show?

Would you do the same at the opera? symphony?

I understand running around with your kids, I understand that babies cry and kids want to place chase, but you 45 year old ass hat with the really loud voice and tall chair, shut the feck up. After all, I paid 28 bucks to hear music and eat dinner underneath the trees, not listen to you discuss your upcoming colonscopy.


Tonight we saw Emmylou Harris, she was fabulous and it was quieter than last nights performances by the lovely Josh Ritter and the amazing Andrew Bird.

In fact, last night was even more amazing because TH and I entered a raffle and won a huge basket of chocolate goodies and some coffee from Metropolitan Market. Seriously cool and made me much happier after my cranky spell due to talking idiots.

Check it out...

Guess what we won @ the zoo?

Tonight they raffled off a grocery bag of vegetables.

Hard choice - vegetables v. truffles, coffee, brownies, biscotti, brownie mix and other delectables.

Saturday takes us to Spokane for a brief visit and a wedding. Should be tons of fun.

nm bittersweet but not 70%

Monday, July 21, 2008

sunday morning on my way to stanley park

Early this morning I breakfasted on carrots pulled out of the ground and raspberries still chilled from the night air.

I didn't even bother taking them home and eating them with yogurt. They were at the prime for picking -- past the shine to the dark matte red and just a tap drops them into your waiting palm.

The garden is amazingly lush right now -- I harvested the first of the yellow squash, some carrots, huge heads of lettuce, two pints of raspberries and baby artichokes. I see tons of weeding to do and lots of things to consider replanting.

This is a hard time for us -- we are here and gone three more times in the next few weeks. You have things under control and in five minutes your back is turned the morning glory has overtaken the gooseberries and the broccoli has decided to go to flower. I cannot devote any more than the sixty minutes I allot daily to the garden - life also needs nurturing around here.

So, will it wither? No. It will be fine with morning glories and a bit of quack grass for company.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Back from Canada. Miles walked, pictures taken and downloaded and not quite made public on flickr. Good food eaten, great music heard, beautiful weather to sun in and three books read.

Its hard to believe one weekend a summer is the highlight of my whole summer - blows Paris, Greenland or any wedding out of the water.

More later.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

lost and found

nano the bear

Lost one small Parisian (2") bear by the name of Nano. Last seen with irresponsible me.

Found under the seat of my colleagues rental car.

Its been a long week of meetings with many positive outcomes for our continuing work. I even managed to get in a few walks while discussing stovepiping/collaborating/data exchange and water levels.

I really didn't take any pictures, there just wasn't the time. I can tell you that every year I end up in Boulder for at least a few days and every year it keeps on changing. I'm not saying its for the best, it just is.

I will miss the Boulder creek path, but I'm sure I'll be back soon enough.

Tomorrow TH and I are running away to Canada for three days of music, some decent grub, some walking for me and serious amounts of sunscreen.

I can't wait.

Nano is staying home.

nm found not lost

Sunday, July 13, 2008

so much to say, so little time

reaching for the sky

Where did July go?

Off to Boulder tomorrow, hoping to catch up with my favorite rocket scientists if she's in town.

nm with miles to go

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday wrap up

15 plus miles walked
2 hour nap
3 loads of laundry
1 pt of raspberries picked
1/2 papaya with lime for dessert enjoyed
2 sunburned arms

Life is good


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

leaving the office behind

Short of a large seismic event or a presentation that requires my brain power I no longer
check my work email after hours unless I am on travel.

I feel a million times better.

Can you do it?

Do you do it?

Monday, July 07, 2008

seattle syndrome and little things


Little thing:

I signed up for the Portland Marathon today.

Holy crap.

26.2 miles.

I see some speedwork in my future.

I see some need for new tunage and the use of someone's old nano as well.

Seattle syndrome:

Seattle is the most passive aggressive place in the world. It just breeds passive agressiveness.

Why is that?

Can't you just say what is pissing you off. Can't you just do something and tell someone that you did it because you thought they way they were doing it was wrong? Can you just fucking start signalling a left hand turn before you move into that lane?

Case in point: Our ppatch neighbor is always one to point out the little things that we haven't yet done -- finish weeding, picked something up, propped something up.

He's quite a chatty one and mostly pleasant, but now he's there all the god damn timed. Seriously.

He recently started to terrace the hillside that buffers the ppatch from the busy street. While I appreciate his desire to carve out more space and give a bit more light, the knotweed also buffers our garden from the traffic, the on lookers and pollution.

Neighbor starts terracing our 20' width. We didn't ask nor did we appreciate said encroachment. We did what any other part of the world would do, we fenced it off from him. Its like this -- If we praised him for doing something we didn't ask for, he would love it and feed off of it. If we told him we didn't need more garden, he would then take it over and we would be surrounded by him.

So, we did the mean thing. We cut him off.

We couldn't find crime tape on Sunday. Bummer.

I have had lots of fun in the past few weeks reading Passive Aggressive Notes.

nm really if you don't mind, can we switch seats?

Friday, July 04, 2008

with a grain of salt

Reserve from the library, thumb through at your local independent bookstore and then go buy
at Amazon because it just would make the most sense.

Stuff white people like

Completely cringeworthy but worth it.

nm like white on rice but with a whiff of eastern promise

Monday, June 30, 2008


Hot half.

Fun stuff.

Over the bridge and through Bellevue neighborhoods of my youth.

Shout out to families with hoses everywhere.

You made my day.

Walking with tatas, hotties and the lone glamour pirate. I walked with my favorite walkers
and even the lone tata who was sunning herself on the beach in Maui was missed!

Man, I'm so glad I'm in shape and trained, it was not a half for wusses.

Back to the grind. One tiny blister on my toe and some advil and I'm good to go for 14 on Saturday and 12 on Sunday.

nm with lots of beer in the fridge

Friday, June 27, 2008

visualizing reality

Ever have one of those days?
Tomorrow my 3 day training schedule has me going on a 13 mile walk. The following day I'm doing a half marathon. Did I mention the high for tomorrow is forecast for 86 and Sunday 88 degrees? Chuck Bartlett of Run Chuckit suggested that the Seafair Marathon be more about hydration and less about PRing. I am going to agree, for me, it will be a training walk with no real stops, a nice tshirt and a banana at the end.

I've been reading a lot about productivity, time management and stress reduction. One thing that struck me was the concept of visualizing what your day is going to be before you commit yourself to one more thing.

In this case, let's take my tomorrow.

TH is out of town, that means Ernest is all mine.

That means I have a 5:30 am dog walk at the park, shower, 8 am start to a 13 mile walk with lots of stops. We won't finish until 1 pm. I won't get home until 1:20 pm. I have time to wolf down something to eat, walk Ernest again, deal with whatever crises come my way and then run to Bellevue to pick up my race packet for the next day's half.

I should return home at 3 pm.

Walk Ernest again or at least do something to mildly entertain him.

Take another shower, do a few chores for tomorrow's potluck/bbq.

5 pm - go to 'rents to have dinner with a childhood friend and my mom and dad. I'm off the hook for making anything, but I'm responsible for bringing a box of mac and cheese and the legos.

Home at 8, walk Ernest.

Aunt P and cousin Scruffy are in town for Pride, hang with them. Walk Ernest and Scruffy, go to bed for a 5 am wake up.

Does that sound crazy?

It does to me once I put it all into my brain, buffered each activity for crap that could happen and then decided that it just isn't going happen.

My 13 mile walk is now a 7 mile walk at 7 am by myself. I have enough time to come home, run to market and chill in the heat. With dog walks, I'll finish the day at about 9 to 10 miles walked, not bad.

My training will survive my not being there for the 13 miles. My wallet will appreciate not stopping at Starbucks with the Hotties and I'll do things at my own pace.

Recently I started to really calendar, mostly visually using Google Calendar which synchs to the blackberry. It gives me a better idea of what my day is going to look like. I am trying to make better use of my time and resources - gas being one of them, so like every other person in the world, I'm starting to really combine trips.

I'm also learning to say no.

That is the hardest part.


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A humble respect

the braising green section

Today I spent the twilight hours gardening, both at home and the p-patch. It was a beautiful evening and instead of spending it inside folding laundry we watered in anticipation of warmer weather on the horizon and a work function that will bring many to ooh and ahh at my overgrown perennial borders.

We tottered to the garden to weed, water and harvest. We have had brazen broadcasting of mustards all over our beds and since the P-patch program donates tons of fresh produce to the city food bank programs, we are trying to do our part. This spring has been cruel for Seattle gardeners with heat followed by snow followed by grey malaise that never let up. The last few days have brought some hope and great gasps of growth to our crops both planned and volunteer.

Tonight I harvested 15 lbs of mustard plants-topped and cleaned them to donate to my Friday run to our North Seattle food bank. When I arrive at the garden at 8:45 on Friday morning I will be relieved to see others have donated beautiful heads of bronze lettuce, greens of all sorts and rhubarb and mustards. Later this season there will be squash of various sizes and tomatoes that we all can't keep up with, at least we hope.

The Lettuce link program has been really integral in getting fresh foods to those who frequent the city's food banks. In April I had the privilege to volunteer my Saturday morning to help distribute seeds to those waiting for their weekly allotment of food and talked to people who wanted to plant small gardens - even in containers where ever they lived. It gave me hope and made me realize that we can all tuck in another row of beans, transplant a few more heads of lettuce and harvest our squash a little earlier and share the bounty with someone who will appreciate out harvest because for them it may be a rare thing.


Sunday, June 22, 2008

weekend wrap up

One of my fave views in the world

Three very good meals out - Tamarindo, Camino and Station House Cafe
Happy and sadness at Shell Beach
Sunburnt on the back of my arms
Hugs and tears
Hotter than hell in the 94707 on Friday night
Fog finally on Saturday night
A ring and a phone call on Saturday
The ring sighting on Sunday!
Home and not going anyfreaking where for three weeks and so happy about it

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Alstair stellar grey

I've been a bad blogger of late. Honestly, who wants to hear of my trials and tribulations. I'm not doing anything glamorous. My life is pretty mundane.

The weather has not been particularly good here, so anytime I can feel the sun shine through, I'm outside. I couldn't imagine being inside tied to this infernal machine any longer than possible.

Today TH started a trek to California -one she does on a fairly regular basis. I will follow tomorrow and we will spend Saturday morning on the beach at Point Reyes celebrating the life of a dear friend. I anticipate tears and laughter and the warm hugs of his partner, with whom I last spoke two years ago after the death of a mutual friend. It makes me sad that we have to connect this way.

Like I said, its been a hard year all around.

Tomorrow, summer starts. To some this is wonderful, to me it is bittersweet.

It means the days grow shorter again.

This evening, after a round of chores and visits, I spent two full hours weeding, transplanting, pruning and watering the p-patch plots. My enthusiasm has rubbed off my parents. After dinner tonight, they skipped Jeopardy they went to their garden and watered and weeded and just reveled in the evening.

My mom called me later and told me that she was happy she got out of the house and went to the garden.

It made me smile.

I'll try and be a better correspondent. As I drive or walk these days I think of things I want to write, but others have covered the same topics better than I can and frankly internets, I wouldn't want you to spend time reading when you could be out weeding.

nm up and down like the dow jones

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Short but sweet

Yesterday marked the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Jacques, our beloved basset. I don't know whether to be sad that or forgot or happy that we've moved on.

Life here is throwing a few curve balls, but we'll hit one out of the field one of these days.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A remembrance

May he rest in peace

Today I found out that one of my favorite musicians in the world passed last month.

I cannot tell you how sad I am, I cannot tell you how lucky I was to listen to him last year and the years before at the VFMF.

Utah Phillips was to me one of the most amazing legacies of an era that is slowly fading.

He will be sorely missed.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Carrot weather

When you walk the dog in a down jacket in the second week of June there must be something wrong.

My tomatoes are snug in their wall o waters and my spinach has no fear of bolting. People scoff at the idea of global warming, well folks climate change does all sorts of things including bringing to the table lots of variability. Here we are having a moderate La Nina event --cooler and wetter. It was predicted and she is rearing her wet head all through out the north pacific while the mid Atlantic sizzles and the Plains are deluged.

Maybe we are finally paying attention to the weather.

I hope my strawberries ripen soon -- I hate to see a mismatch between rhubarb availabilty and strawberries.


Thursday, June 05, 2008

more of nothing redux

Every time the phone rings these days, its not happy news.

I can unfortunately count on more than one hand, the number of people taken from us this year.

This really sucks.

Today we heard that one of TH's last links to her mom died a few weeks ago.

I will miss him so.

I need some cheering up.

nm here for the duration, or as long as they let me

Thursday, May 29, 2008

More on nothing and something


I used to love it when TH left, really.

It meant I could eat standing up, toast for dinner, pad thai for breakfast. I could clean closets at 2 am or go to bed at 8 pm with the dog. It was a nice break for the both of us.

These days, I wish she was home, the dog, the house, the garden and my soul need her nearby.

Times have changed in the world of the sea going scientist --It used to be that doing field work meant the last staggered phone call at the fuel pier felt like a life line was being cut. You said your goodbyes, your i love yous, your devotion and dedications and the be safes with a time delay and that was it, for weeks. If you heard from someone while you were out to sea, something terrible had happened.

In the mid90s TH was testing out a protocol that sent faxes and simple file transfers from the vax to the ships. I was the lucky recipient of little coded messages at the bottom of status reports from the lab or to the lab of how our operations were going. I loved getting these little messages, they were little love notes in with larval fish counts, station changes and equipment issues.

In Kodiak and Dutch Harbor, more than likely, you can get a cell phone tower to work if you lean into the wind and away from the big hills. If not, there is the internet. It is less costly these days and the real time streaming of data and information is useful for the scientists, operations and for the morale of the crews.

You really can't get away from it. From 2 pm when TH surfaces until she goes back to bed after her watch is over at 4 am, I get updates on the cruise, she checks in with ernest and his blog, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Seattle Times and other sundry items between stations.

She also does work as it just does not go away anymore. You still respond to crisis, submit abstracts to meetings and fight fires from the middle of the ocean.

I love and hate it.

I love that I can email her or even skype her if I needed to because I am having a day, but at the same time, it means that neither of us can just let it go. You inbox may be clean when you tie up, but you haven't had a moment to just clear your head.

Today I celebrate the fact that in two sleeps and one wake up, TH will be tied up to the pier and soon on her way home.

I'm hoping that the FY09 field season has a February cruise for TH. It would be a nice time to visit Alaska. I hear its easier to get your upgrades to clear and you may get to the ice edge.

nm over and out

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Today I came home from a ten mile walk to find that I have no fence on my south side of my yard. Nice.


That basically means that the back garden is unusable for Ernest, quite the bummer as I have tons to do back there and he could spend his time chewing, running around and be a dog, something that I realize he spends less and less time doing these days.

Since my neighbor's son is dealing with all this, I am willing to put money on the fact that it ain't getting finished in a timely manner.

Maybe tomorrow am we'll hit the dog park for a change.

nm not in the best of moods

Thursday, May 22, 2008

still here

Just busy.

TH is bobbing around the Gulf of Alaska and Ernest is zooming. Doesn't give me much time for anything more than hanging on my fingernails.

Stay tuned for something witty tomorrow.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

saturday update


nine miles this morning, hot, but nice
three new pairs of brooks yesterday - two for the 3 day, one for the portland marathon/seattle half
overdue pedi
my first skort (shut up) purchase
dinner plans changed in mid stream, learning to adapt

seven plus miles
new shoe testing
tomato planting
mama stephanie visit

I could get used to this.

TH is off to the Gulf of Alaska via the Bering Sea for the two weeks or so, Ernest and I are holding down the fort.

I see long walks, some discussions over the appropriateness of cereal for dinner and who gets the last table water cracker in the package.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Fresno Friday wrap up

Slamming doors were fewer
Transnational as word of the day
Mennonite church ladies providing panderia and tacos
Nectarine groves lush with fruit
Table grapes at 60 mph
Japanese variety store converted to a mosque in fresno
Strawberry buttermilk shake--don't knock it until you try it
Margaritas with the duluth, savannah and butte conference organizers
Wheat from the mill

Nm says bye bye now

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Fresno highlights

Slamming hotel doors
Adobe architecture
Water towers
Seeing uncle bill
Ranch supper
Fig garden woman's club tea
Taco truck for dinner

In 15 minutes. 9 separate door slams

Nm following the banal with the sublime

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

dear internets

I am not very happy with myself. Without going into so much detail. I have realized that my weight issues are more than garbage in and nothing positive coming out.

yours fondly and in a pants size bigger than last summer,


banana republic -- i hate your vanity sizing
old navy -- i really wonder if you are truer to size

Monday, May 05, 2008

growing old

The Zootunes tickets went on sale today. I drove by the store that was selling them and I thought that I was watching a breadline in the former Soviet Union or that rice was available on the shelves again. It seriously looked like the line at Bell, Book and Candle when Stones tickets went on sale in 1981.
We usually go to a few Zootunes shows and mostly have a decent time. It is no longer cheap, but appeals to people with sprogs, because sprogs under 10 or some such get in for free. So if you are into mood, deep thoughts and grooving to the tunes, it isn't the scene for you. If you love watching kids run amok, a myriad of crocs colors and good weather then go.

Even with the kids, the line up and the fact we have to haul ass from work, walk the dog and find parking we still go. This year the line up was meh, but we still managed to find some crumblies to see. Emmylou Harris, Boz Scaggs and Josh Ritter (who knew) are on the plate. I believe that most of these dates do no interfere with tata 3 day training and if so, I'll just walk to the show.

I used to love live music - mc'ing little shows at clubs, going to see bands and really getting into the music. These days, its not just the same. I don't have the same stamina for sets that start at 9 pm and definitely not the stomach for that much beer. I look at festivals as an excellent excuse to read a book, work on my tan and listen to some decent music. I abhor paying more than 40 dollars to see a concert. I balk at the shows that I see that start at 75 bucks a head. I can't imagine paying that much to see anyone -- okay, I would pay up to 250 dollars to see Leonard Cohen and he would have to play for at least 90 minutes and stare directly at me for at least one song.

The funny thing is that the people I see going to those expensive shows are my cohort plus or minus some botox or a c-section or three. That is a lot of money - at least a few units of the b-juice in the forehead to see Dire Straits or the Michael (ugh) McDonald sing badly while sipping some plonk and checking in with the office on a Saturday nights on the blackberry.

I think I'll hold off for a few more years - wine, concerts at wineries and the b-juice, I'm just not ready to grow up that much.

nm minute by minute

Sunday, May 04, 2008

sunday funnies

Flew to and from Boston, after dinner with some of my favorite people around in Seattle. I wish I could have made the night last longer and I wish to g-d in heaven I had more than one mangopolitan.

I'm trying to figure out if I really need to do these "stupid" runs to keep status.
This one had TH involved, so it was fun. I have to say the no change fee is worth some of the pain.

This week is a long one and a short one. I'm off to FAT for VAF.
I haven't been in FAT since 1981 and I'm thinking there are fewer fig groves than before.

Other than that, tata walking, parental controls, gardening and work (must finish short course description asap) are on the horizon for the next 70 hours.

nm on the loose

Saturday, May 03, 2008


Accomplished today:
walked 10 plus miles
laughed a lot on said walk
showered twice
walked dog hither and yon
delivered said dog to lock down (to be retrieved tomorrow)
12 minute nap accomplished

Not accomplished:
planting anything

good thing tomorrow is coming up

off to bos, don't ask.
Currently in one day lockdown, my lawyers think they'll be able to post bail tomorrow.

ernest jail bird basset

Friday, May 02, 2008

week in review

cherry blossom

hours worked: too many
days in the office before seven am: three
boxes freecycled: 100 or so
boxes to be freecycled: 40 or so
dog walks taken: 25
miles walked for the three day training: pathetically few
miles anticipated walked tomorrow and sunday: 18
miles flown this week to date:
miles flown by tomorrow night: 5048
plants purchased this week: seven
plants to be put in the ground this week: 25
number of trips planned to the dog kennel this week: 0
number of trips to the dog kennel: one
number of changes to my Greenland/Iceland/Denmark ticket I made this week: one
number of lurchers and hounds I am hoping to smooch in September because of the change: five

number of things I am going to do before I sign off here: one

nm list maker list hater

Thursday, May 01, 2008

May day


I'm happy to say that last month is over and this month is setting up to be pretty darn dandy.

Asparagus, apple blossoms, Alaska are all in the future.

I will also be back to regular blogging, especially now that chapter submission is over.


I'll leave you with this.

No desire to come in from the walk at lunch

Spend more time roaching, less complaining and sitting in front of this infernal machine or watching reruns on tv. Get out and take your dog for a walk.

You'll never guess what you may come across.

Then there were three

Three gnomes where once there was one.

I need a life, but frankly, I'm happy with the marginally pathetic one I have.

nm once, twice, three times a lady