Sunday, October 11, 2009

Worth the Trip

I regularly question the sense of driving between 75 and 150 miles to one-day cycling events. But, since I don't really have any riding partners over here, and I've used up the majority of the available roads many times over, I still do it.

Saturday's Harvest Century started in Hillsboro, so I drove "The Barrel" and the Sunset Summit, much of it in full darkness.

The sun started to rise as I turned onto US 26. I risked making myself late by stopping several times to shoot.

The "fog in a bowl" image was at the viewpoint turnout. The balance were on the way in from US 26 a few miles from Hillsboro. The ride itself traveled through most of that area an hour or so later.

It was a beautiful day, and I was glad to be on the bike, but I could easily have burned up the morning chasing more photographs. Good thing I left the "big bag" at home. These were all shot with the Lumix, and a couple needed slight Photoshop adjustments to "give me back" the scene that I saw.

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Friday, October 9, 2009

Well, I'll be...

Looks like the Nobel Committee is in strong disagreement with me.  Or at least they're a lot more optimistic than I am.

Well, good!

At least the "non-US" portion of the planet has stopped loathing our leadership.  That's what I take out of the Peace Prize selection, anyway.  "Hey, look!  They elected someone that doesn't hate the rest of the world, and he's not bent on killing us all through overt hostility or callous neglect!"

Not insignificant matters, to be sure, but we still need some real focus here.

If the Nobel Prize was offered in the form of a chalice (I know it's not), I'd see it as something to yet to be filled, a major project yet to be completed.  Expectations expressed but not yet fulfilled.

For all of our sakes (including the counter-patriot wingnuts currently freaking out en-masse), I hope the Nobel Committee remains happy with their choice in the coming years.

Mr. President, you've got yet another high bar to get over.  I know you didn't ask for it, but I hope you make it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

When the Hangover Starts

Trivia question:  Which 80s pop band released a song by that title?

But I'm talking about the electoral hangover, not the alcohol induced one. And I've got one.

As I've noted previously, I didn't expect miracles, an immediate reversal of a catastrophic economic slide or a sudden, inexplicable outbreak of peace and harmony on the planet.

But what I did expect and had reason to hope for was a change from "business as usual" in the White House, with a trickle-down effect into the houses of Congress.

Silly me.

Do I regret not voting for the old grouch from Arizona and his Froot-Loops-crazy glamor girl sidekick?  Oh, hell no.  I can induce nightmares in the daytime when I consider that scenario.

But my disappointment in the President is growing daily.  It's not hatred or bigotry or anything else that the crackers on the right have going for them.  Regardless of what their nutball signs might say, it's really that wing of the public that leans right far enough to approach Nazism.  The very fact that so many of them are utterly befuddled by the political spectrum points up either the failure of our education system or the complete success of the right-wing media machine.  Or both.

I'm disappointed with the President for not standing up for the ideals that he ran on.  Come on, Mr. President, let's make a fresh, strong pot of coffee and get a fresh start with some real focus!

Trivia answer:  Squeeze