Archive for February, 2000

Memory Colorspace

keyhole-sm: Key hole ThumbnailHole in the wall, Key to the land beyond.

Or the space beyond as the case may be. There’s a wall of rock, then a mile of air, then the cliff on the other side. The crack of cool shade in the late afternoon sun. As hot and dry as the dusty rock is outside, it’s always cool in the crack.

This picture looks out from a little path that disappears into the face of the cliff at Sun Wall, at Vantage. Approaching the edge, it looks like there’s no easy way down. Then there’s a narrow path leading behind the first row of basalt columns. It gets far enough down that you’re at mid-height of the cliff, along the top of the talus slope. The talus slope has enough of a stable top that you can get to climbing spots. But not so much that you mistake this for stable rock. This is definately one of those places where the ground isn’t quite as permanent as it might appear.

The terrain around here was shaped by cataclysmic events. Columbia river basalt flows; volcanic rock in hundred foot thick layers. I think that there are three layers represented in this ampitheatre. The columns were formed by cracks that formed as the whole mass cooled. Kind of like what happens to drying mud. The Coulees in the area were carved in the great flood; when lake Missoula broke its ice dam and drained a great lake sized volume of water in a week. A flood so big that they didn’t quite realize it till satelite imaging put the pieces together. Compared to that ice dam, the Grand Coulee dam is a child’s toy.

And now the terrain is an irrigated desert. Power is taken from the river, and shipped off to industry. Water is taken from the river and dumped on the desert to grow wheat and potatoes. It’s amasing that there’s a river left for the salmon.

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Memory Colorspace


Well, it’s not just the Olympics that give neon colors. Sometimes you get them around Ranier. This shot was taken at 6am one fine November morning. I don’t remeber much else about the morning, except that the skies were beautiful and I was up far too early. The skies were almost worth it.

This shot was taken from the center of the 520 floating bridge near the drawspan. The spiral staircase up to the top of the little pedestrian bridge shows up in the corner of the image. It’s a wierd contrast with the natural emptiness of the rest of the image.

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Memory Colorspace


Some memory is in black and white, some of it in color. There are the greyscale images of winter, and the sunsoaked days of spring in the desert. The cool colors of night, and the neon colors of the Olympics at sunset.

That picture perfectly captures the colorspace of that day. After a longish day of rock climbing in the desert; the exhaustion and the warm glow of sunshine. Two years ago, and it’s still something I want to get back to. Climbing on a warm spring day in Central Washington while Seattle rains. Coming in the previous night, in the darkness. Waking up in the morning and seeing cliffs. Getting up to coffee strong enough to stand a spoon. (French press, of course. One must have standards.) Mmmmmm. Coffee Sludge. Leaving everything of the rest of my life on the other side of the Cascades.

One thing that I love about rock climbing is how well it focuses you on the task at hand. If your mind wanders, you find out about it pretty damn quickly. Your entire existance is boiled down to the essentials; hand holds, foot holds, and the overwhelming ‘I’m gonna die’ thought. Of course, you’re not going to die if you are careful and have a good top rope.

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There are many types of love, and none of them identical.
(F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Sensible Thing)

***Ah Springtime.

Those of you in the midwest and northeast can just hit the back button now. Seattle has decided to bless us with non-rainy weather for the better part of a week. 57 degrees, sunny, mountains out. Well, at least Baker, the Cascades, and the first 10000 feet of Ranier. And the Olymipcs look like something out of a movie. Slightly hazy, in a yellowish light, dramatic shadows.

Saturday, during the height of the sunny afternoon I went inside to a darkish coffeshop to drink caffiene and talk to webloggers; to see what they’re like when they’re not on the other end of an ethernet cable. Well, they’re more fun than a barrel of monkeys (or any other little kids toy). I laughed so hard my sides hurt.

This afternoon, Sunday, I went biking on my road bike for the first time this year. The bike has just been overhauled and cleaned, so that all the shiny bits are bright and unsoiled by road crud.

For the casual reader, one bicycle would seem to be enough. But once you get attach required fenders and other protective paraphanelia, your nice fast racing bicycle now has lots of extraneous stuff hanging off of it. So some people buy a rain bike, in addition to all the other random bikes that cyclists tend to attract.

Biking on the road bike, with fresh new drive train parts. All the shiny bits spinning. Sun. Fresh drivetrain bits make the bike seem new. Shifts just click into place. I need to get away from the computer more often for this sort of ride.

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Online course: email <-> Manila integration

Hi Eric:

As you have probably heard many times before, this is really great stuff that is going on here at wiredfool, with Frontier, Manila, the Seattle usergroup and all. For example, your connecting the user profile for you to an individual page for yourself is just one of a ton of really good ideas that you are generating. The individual page is one of the things that I am working on is encouraging Manila site users to create their own individual page at the site.

Before I get into Manila <-> email integration, I would like you to know that I very much enjoyed the Seattle goings on here at wiredfool. I took the wrong fork in the road back in 73 when I decided not to return to Seattle because everything was in the dumper with the slump at Boeings. As the net movement of people was out of town, the equity in many homes had gone negative so there were lots of nice places that one could have by taking over the monthly mortgage payment. There was even a billboard on the way out as you drove South, with a light bulb and pull chain, “will the last person to leave please turn out the light.”

Several other law types and I have an experiment in online education going at EditThisPage and have been trying to emulate the kind of Manila <-> email integration that you have been working on but with one of those freebee email-based discussion groups (mailing lists) tied into email notification. This was to be an automatic distribution, but we found that most of our participants got confused about the bulletin service offered by Manila and did not go onto sign up for the mailing list, that Manila some how was leading many participants to create many copies of their new pages, and when we fliped the main page to add a link to a new unit in the course we ended up message that duplicated the posting of the new unit as a page.

We have had to go back to the drawing board and reevaluate how we are
going to operate. But we are trying to make a go of Manila <-> email

Do you know of a Manila site that would work with us in our efforts to create an interactive, integrated Web and email, learning/discussion environment. Our experimental, nonprofit online course is targeting lawyers, mediators and other alternative dispute resolution professionals on the use of Web and other internet tools and resources to support study groups and other forms of networking.



P.S. The course is over at http://inet901.EditThisPage.com

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Finally, after something like 2 years of work on my mailserver, It’s 1.0. OrgMail 1.0 that is. Ship date was Feb 14, Valentines Day. I’m looking for cosmic significance here, but the best thing is: It shipped, on what is normally a black day for me.

When I say that it shipped, to be more accurate I should say that it is installed on our deployment machine and customers are using it.

I’m reminded of Phillip Greenspun quoting Winston Churchill:

“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public.”

*** Seattle FUG

In other news, I’m going to be demoing this software to the Seattle Frontier User’s group meeting on Tuesday Feb 22. Like they could keep me from talking about it.

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