Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Intelligent Design conversations are such a WASTE of time

What is our country coming to? While the rest of the world is advancing their technology base (Go Asia!!!) we have do waste our time having inane conversations with people who are making us look like idiots.

It seems that one of our (America's) biggest problems is lack of education. I think before I would have an intellectual conversation with an ID fanatic, I would want them to read this first.

[Update 1: I love this stamp!] [Update 2: Don't be surprised if some out there think that Intelligent Falling is a serious idea.]

[Update 2: Here's a Dec 19, 2005 New Scientist story with Darwin's fingerprints all over the human genome.]

Monday, August 29, 2005

Finally hiked Half Dome

My buddy Michael and I made the journey to Yosemite this past weekend to hike up Half Dome (17 miles & 4,842 vertical feet).

We left on Friday after work and arrived in the Valley a little after 9pm (delayed at the craptastic Iron Door Saloon in Groveland...see my The Iron Door Saloon Sucks! post) and promptly carbo loaded with some beer at the Curry Village Bar. We made it to our beds in our tent cabin (thanks Stan & Judy for letting us crash with ya!) by 11pm. Our tentmates planned on climbing Half Dome, so were up and out the door by 4:30am. Thinking that we weren't gonna go back to sleep, Michael and I decided to get up and hit the trail.

With lunches packed and headlamps on our heads, we left the Curry Village parking lot by 5:30am. We took the John Muir trail up and made it to the top of Nevada Falls a bit after 8pm. After a bunch of pics, we pushed on meandered our way up at a pretty decent pace. By about 10:30 we found ourselves at the hill before the chains. OUCH...what a killer! Luckily, we were there early enough that there wasn't much of a crowd on the trials. After about 20 minutes, we crested the top of this hill and saw the chains before us.

With gloves on hands we scampered up to the top within about 15 minutes...11:20am. Once there, we took a peek at the Yosemite Valley side and then quickly found a flat place to lay down and nap. By 12:15, our time was up and we headed back down...alongside a 72 year-old woman and her family. 72!!! and on top!

We had planned on jogging down (we had done that 2 years earlier down to the Valley from Glacier Point), but the steepness of a good bit of the trail, the crowds and sore feet put a damper on that idea. Still, we made it back to Curry Village by 3:30pm.

How to celebrate? More carbo loading at the bar: pepperoni pizza and some tall 22 oz beers. Within about an hour, we bumped into Judy & Stan and hung out with them for awhile along with a couple that we (all four of us, but on different parts of the trail) met on the trail.

That marks four big hikes that I've done there: valley floor to Yosemite Lookout, valley floor to Glacier Point, Tenaya Lake to Clouds Rest. I'm thinking the Tenaya Lake to valley floor (via Clouds Rest) may be a fun one to do. And Michael really wants to try out Tenaya Canyon. Looks like quite an adventure!

Here are the pics from the hike...thanks Michael!

The Iron Door Saloon Sucks

On the way up to Yosemite last Friday, we stopped off at the Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, CA. It's hard to miss on the drive up 120 and we thought it would be a great place to catch a quick burger. Boy were we wrong!

We each ordered a burger and thought that we'd be chowing down in a few minutes and then be back on the road. After about 20 minutes, we started to get antsy...where's our food. When asking the bartender, he replied, "I don't know...I'm just the bartender." We turned around and saw our waitress...good she'll be right over. Wrong! She sat there and chatted with her friends for a good 15 minutes.

When another bartender asked Mike how he was doing and he replied, "Hungry!". She quickly "Now now'd" him. Mike is hungrier than me, so walks over to the waitress and asks if our order was lost; to which she replies, "No, there's lots of people ahead of you" and promptly sits down and chats more with her friends. Okay...decision was made...waitress is NOT getting a tip. About 8 mnutes later, the burgers come. We quickly ate, then waited another 5 minutes for the check to come. I think our tip was $0.32.

If you want to make me happy...never go to this place. They have never head of the word service.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Another new toy...

For kicks, I decided to buy a BIG tent.

  • 18' x 12' or 198 square feet
  • 4 rooms...sleeps 11
  • only 45 pounds!!!
Hoping that it will arrive by Thursday so that I can use it this weekend up at Lassen with my friends.

[Update: It has arrived! Woohoo!!!!]

Monday, August 22, 2005

Going to Yosemite this weekend

Gonna hike Half Dome this weekend...hope to have some stories/pictures to share next week!

Friday, August 12, 2005

I finally used BitTorrent

A friend sent me a link to a "failed" Fox sitcom pilot called Heat Vision & Jack that stars Jack Black as a former astronaut who flew too close to the sun on a mission and now (during daylight hours) knows everthing. A la Night Rider, his trusty sidekick is Heat Vision, a motorcycle played by Owen Wilson. On the run from NASA (they want his brain), he is being trailed by Ron Silver...you know the actor/NASA fugitive chaser. Anyway...here is the BitTorrent link for the 301 MB download. Don't have BitTorrent? You can download it here. Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

A new work toy

Yeah...I got a new work toy today...a Sony VGN-S470P.

I've loaded up most of the programs I need for work (and play). Looking forward to running it through some hoops over the next few days, but don't anticipate any problems. Earlier in the evening, I was archiving email, playing music on iTunes and flying around on Google Earth and none of the applications seemed to be affected whatsoever. Nice, huh?

Anyone out there get any new toys lately?