Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In Remembram

Right before his departure for a cruise to different countries prime for military coups, Joe left me with some directions for his legacy:
Joe: i just wanted to say it was a pleasure knowing you, if I get kidnapped in columbia
Joe: tell the others
Joe: tell my story
Well, I am going to preemptively get this done. A collage of all of our favorite Joe friendship moments:

We will miss you. You and your affinity for short, tight, golf shorts.

We will never forget your wacky on-field antics and groundbreaking ultimate methods.

I think k2 likes this photo a lot, so this one is more for him than actually remembering Joe.

This one is way awkward. Sometimes you really blow the photo.

Blogger won't let me get out of italics. So in other news, Centex and spring break were definitely good times. The team carried a bunch of momentum out of the last 4 games of the weekend after starting out a little poorly. As 5 of the top 13 teams in the UPA rankings are in the Northwest, regionals is going to be a battle. We have the ability to beat anyone for sure, stringing together 2-3 of those victories is going to be very tough.

Other news blurbs include signing up for LEED exam, actively going to my first PT sessions for my knee, and st. patrick's day being fun. Once again I apologize for the continued italics, but I blame Zhi and his division.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fight the Drought

So these past few weeks in the Bay has seen a solid amount of rain, more than I've seen since I moved here in July. Some kid in one of my groups from MIT and France said "So, is the drought over?" Sorry buddy, nice try. Up top is Lake Shasta, which was formed by Shasta Dam which was constructed in the 50s or 60s as part of the Bureau of Reclamation's massive efforts to irrigate the entire western United States with a congress that would approve any water project. That's the lake in 2006. Mary and I drove over it 2 days ago, and it looked like this:

So it is going to be a long time until we are out of this drought, which is pretty consistent with other things I've seen in CA. We played disc golf in December at some reservoir south of San Francisco, and the thing was about 1/8 full compared to what the people I was playing with said it had been about 2 years ago. Water conservation is constantly in your face out here, where it was pretty uncommon to hear about in Pittsburgh or the Pacific Northwest, where we were this past weekend. I just finished reading Cadillac Desert which is a pretty good read, and talked about how droughts ran in cycles of about every decade or so, with varying intensity. And then there is the ever looming 500 year catastrophic drought (think Dust Bowl).

When I was discussing how much water is used in the CA agriculture industry with another group, someone said "They'll keep finding more water." That water is going to be more and more expensive, energy intensive, and always an escalating environmental impact as we go to greater lengths to get it. Also, we don't have the money anymore in a trillion dollar national debt (much of it coming from previous water projects), with CA being in an "economic state of emergency."

Also, Mt. Shasta looks like the Earth's crust got a boner. It comes out of nowhere at an intense grade.

Either way, I think I am gonna start booking an emergency flight to Portland every month in case all of the southwest U.S. turns into quicksand suddenly. In other, lighter rain info:

Riding your bike, downhill, in the rain is awful. Much like running into a monsoon I think. Everything gets soaked. Comparable experiences are playing a tournament in lots of rain, and being on a ski lift in tons of rain. There is no escape from the wetness. Some essentials: wearing shorts under your pants provides a nice layer of comfort from the complete soakage... and gloves, probably gloves would be good. Putting your raincoat hood under your helmet is pretty solid as well.

Also, golf umbrellas are for golf courses, with like 50 people in 5 acres, not for tiny asian girls on the sidewalk. Even on the biggest sidewalk in Berkeley, two of you will be walking side by side with these and no one can get around you. And you walk slow, to avoid any rain blowing underneath your portable tent. And you cannot hear me say "excuse me" because you are too busy telling a bad story about the rain one time in a much too loud voice. GOD DAMMIT BE REASONABLE! And then there is the incredibly risky blow by, where if you bump the umbrella or said asian is startled, you are gonna get dumped on.

Yes, these size umbrellas keep you dry, but don't be an asshole and just get a little wet on the way to work/class just like everyone else. Don't be the jerk walking in 5 minutes late, shaking off your umbrella, commenting how everyone looks soaked. Done venting! Go Pens!