Friday, May 30, 2003

One Old Man Gone - A New Old Man Added
It looks like Mt. Clay in the Presidentials is set to be renamed Mt. Reagan after our 40th president. While Mts. Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison are easily identifiable, the former Mt. Clay is just an insignificant bump on the overall ridgeline massif that extends from Washington northward towards Jefferson, Adams, and Madison. No doubt it is an honor that our Presidential Range has indeed become more presidential, but one wonders if there will be a move to rename Mt. Pierce (who was born in NH and was arguably this nation's worst president) "Mt. Clinton" (after former President Clinton) even though Mt. Pierce used to be called Mt. Clinton in the first placed (apparently named after NY Governor DeWitt Clinton who helped get built the Erie Canal). To dive right into additional arcana regarding Presidential summits, Mt. Eisenhower used to be called Pleasant Dome and indeed the mountain is a pleasant round dome of a summit to hike to and enjoy. Mt. Adams is surrounded by lesser summits named after his family kin: brother Samuel Adams, and son John Quincy Adams who was our 6th US president. Oddly enough, Mt. Jackson is to be found at the southern fringe of the Presidential range but is not named after President Andrew Jackson. Instead it is named after NH state geologist Charles T. Jackson. Mt. Lincoln (perhaps this nation's greatest president) is found over in the western outposts of the White Mountains. Mt. Lincoln is sandwiched in between two other significant peaks along the Franconia ridgeline. To the south is Little Haystack which perhaps speaks to Honest Abe's humble frontier beginnings. However, to the north of Mt. Lincoln is the largest peak on the ridgeline, Mt. Lafayette - named after the honorable French nobleman (when they had manners and also supported Americans in times of war). Continuing on the ridgeline northeast, Mt. Garfield is reached. A decent summit with outstanding views. Perhaps the bucolic surroundings are meant to pacify the spirit of Garfield - a president killed by an assassin not even a year in office.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Another (Vinyl) Brick in the Wall
I observed the most horrendous innovation in architecture and facade design this morning. While out for a walk I passed by an old apartment building that has been in a constant process of renovation for the past 2 years or so. The work on the place has accelerated in recent months, with new windows, dormers, and roofing. However, this morning I was horrified to see that the entire outside of the building had been dressed up with a veneer of fake plastic bricks. Maybe not even bricks at all, but sheets of vinyl pressed, formed, and painted to look like bricks and convey the same texture. Yes, I have seen this before at various fast food outlets, but never for an actual house. It looked absolutely awful when compared with the houses on either side - both made of real brick and both identical in dimension to this plastic monstrosity.

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Married to the Mob
To tell you the truth, I have just about had it talking about my upcoming wedding. It's is not because I am not looking forward to it. Its just that people are really more interested in talking about the disasters that occurred at theirs, or their friends', or someone in their family. They never talk about the good things that happened. Its always about the negative things and the screw-ups. Its kind of perverse in a way. I mean, if I was going in for surgery, would people tell me about the litany of infections they received while in the hospital? About the wrong kidney that was removed from Uncle Joe's side during his operation? About the cutting sounds of the bone-saw or the crunch of the sternum jack? About bloody gauze pads, needles, and beeping equipment? What is it about talking about weddings that it has to become a parade of misery when spoken about?

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

Mr. Fusion and the Delorean - Closer Than You Think
Remember Back to the Future? When Doc drives in at the end of the movie and fuels up the Delorean using Miller Lite, bananas, etc? Well, an interesting item appeared in Discover Magazine about some emerging technology that could transform common household and industrial wastes, food, and garbage into light crude oil, natural gas, and other useful minerals. Apparently the project has moved beyond the theoretical stage and the company involved in this endeavor, Changing World Technologies, Inc has some facilities already up and running. Making oil and gas from our own garbage is almost too good to be true. Lets hope it isn't.

Salam Pax is Back
Go read him now. He has a whole slew of posts he was not able to blog.

Monday, May 05, 2003

Death of an Old Man
I have to admit I felt really sad when I saw the headline in the news about the crumbling of the Old Man of the Mountain. Why? I mean, its just a collection of rocks and ledges. It is kind of weird that we have made an icon of something that is purely the construct of our imagination. I do wonder though what Gov. Benson is considering when he talks of revitalization. Are the old rocks going to be cemented back up in their original locations? I mean, the point of the Old Man was that it was a natural phenomena. Can it really hold the same value and effect if it's just to be put back in place through artificial means? Would people/tourists feel duped? Don't know. Do they go the example of Mt. Rushmore and carve obvious visages of NH heroes? Alan Shepard, Carlton Fisk, Adam Sandler? No idea, on this one to tell you the truth.

Friday, May 02, 2003

Media Hysteria Watch
It now looks that of the 170,000 cultural artifacts feared to be looted from the Iraqi national museum, only about 25 pieces have been verified as missing.

In related news, half the US landmass is roasting under wildfires and all of the nation's population is at risk of repeated and incessant shark attacks.

Ass-berry Beret
I'm still struggling to figure out why the Prince pants with the ass cheeks cut out of them has not caught on as popular everyday fashion.