Friday, February 16, 2007


Another productive day in the career search. I put together another resume, this time marketing myself as an Emergency Temporary Provider. I figure someone, somewhere needs an experienced agronomist -- and fast. I can do that. I now have four different resume types. I'm starting to get perplexed. Three of the resumes are what would be non-standard resumes, at least for me. I'll push the envelope and see if I can get one of the four to catch someone's attention. There must be someone out there that needs my set of skills, experience, and philosophy.

UPS comment: I emailed UPS with a couple of comments about their NASCAR sponsorship of Dale Jarrett and their advertising in general. Basically told them I appreciated both. They emailed me back and said thanks for the comments. That's big in my book. A big company that cares enough to respond! Go Brown!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Midnight at the Oasis

Time to call it another day. I really have to rethink my approach to this job search thing -- and hit it again tomorrow.

Until then, good night, world.

NASCAR Sponsorship Denver CO

Hey race fans and potential sponsors. I have a friend returning to racing at Colorado National Speedway, Sportsman Division, after being out of it for a time to attend to his farming and trucking business. He has been successful in the Sportsman Division in the past (2nd place in points twice). I sponsored him near the end of the 2001 season. My business situation has changed so I'm helping him look for a sponsor for the 2007 season. If you are interested, please leave a comment with contact information. Thank you.

Pondering Life

From my gift book (you givers know who you are and about which book I speak). My quote of the day:

"This day I completed my thirty first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the hapiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now soarly feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been jusiciously expended. but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and a least indeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existence, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestoed on me: or in future, to live for mankind, as I heretofore lived for myself."

Here's a guy who has been traveling uncharted and unexplored (by the old world) territory. This guy is a very gifted (leadership, wisdom, flying by the seat of the exploration groups's pants) 31-year-old. He's sitting at an encampment called Camp Fortunate very near the divide between the Columbia River drainage and the Missouri River drainage, and he's been hanging out with the Shoshone relatives of Sacagawea. Sacagawea had been kidnapped by Hidasta's when she was 13 and this is the first return to her homeland since her capture. She acts as chief interpreter to the Shoshones. It turns out that the first Shoshone chief they encounter in their intent to barter for horses is Sacagawea's brother. And this 31-year-old is sitting there reflecting that he has done nothing for succeeding generations. Who's the author of my quote? Capt. Meriwether Lewis, of Lewis & Clark expedition fame. So, be yourself, do what you perceive is yours to do in life, and you just never know.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Human Machine -- What if?

Rita Carter (1998), writing about the human brain revisits an interesting psychosociological question. It's not the first time someone asked or discussed these things, but she touches on it in light of what was cutting edge research 9 years ago. Some of us balk at the idea that the functioning of the human mind is purely mechanistic. We dread the thought that what we perceive as a separation of body and soul doesn't exist and is rather instead just a complex set of neuronal activity in genetic response to our surroundings. A very complex interplay of stimulus and response, all geared to enhance our ability to survive and reproduce.

Some say if we are hard wired, that if there is there is no "God", no "soul", no "conscience", we would fall into sociological chaos. What if we could live by acting out every whim of desire, fantasy, violence, and whatever we commonly think of as "sin" as moderated by our "superior species" thought pattern. What if we prove there is no "God", no "afterlife", that we are no more superior than any other biological entity -- that perhaps these concepts are just hard wired patterns of neuronal firing that confer some type of enhanced survival of our genes. Carter says the brain doesn't work that way. She says it can't because the concepts of God, afterlife, a spirit realm, are so hard wired into us that our brain actually dupes us into thinking it is true, so we act in a fantasy world of conscience, etc. which allows us the ability to pass on our genes and keep living the fantasy.

If we somehow become able to rationally accept that we, our brains, our spirits are some inceivably complex interaction of sensory neurons in concert with our environment, we will continue to feel and act as though the mechanistic part of us operates as if we have conscience, free will, the ability to alter our daily existence through our own thoughts and will.

This is all very interesting. I feel there are other dimensions that we interact with which gives us the perception of afterlife, God, etc. We cannot prove these other dimensions because they are other dimensions, able to be sensed by us but not touched or studied (yet, anyway). I think this concept, along with many other scientific concepts are out there waiting to be proven. For myself, even if God is a hard wired concept of our own making, I choose to live as if God, conscience, free will, etc. are real parts of the spiritual unseen universe. And we must keep asking, what if we prove the hard wiring and there is nothing else? I feel that whatever our relationship to a real or perceived God, we must conduct trustworthy research and be ready to accept what is real and not what we wish, even fervently with all our hearts to be fantasy reality.

Faith, anyone? I have it, though it's a scientific struggle within me.

Reference: Rita Carter, 1998. Mapping the Mind. University of California Press.

RE Rita's fine book: I'm sure there have been a wealth of findings about the human brain since this was published. Very interesting book, although somewhat awkwardly edited. Needs more diagrams, less sidebar discussions that tend to get distracting to the flow of the text.

Honda Pilot EX 2006 and Peet's Coffee, Boulder

Looking at my last few blogs I see a trend developing. Apparently I am enjoying being sarcastic. That isn't my goal in blogging. I'd rather do something useful so I'll switch gears.

Product ratings:

Honda Pilot EX, 2006, 2WD. Kudos: After 1.5 months: Excellent first impressions. No effort to drive. It just feels right. 2WD gets around well in lots of deep snow, gnarly ice, and rutted/washboard old ice. Very good traction, very solid feel, excellent handling. Anti locks and traction control appear to work well in initial situations. Headlights/fog lamps work well. Great power for mountain driving and freeway acceleration. Downshifting works well on downhills. Nicely built. Quiet. Good luggage room and interior layout. Heating/climate control appears to work very well. Factory sound system w/6CD changer (no MP3) adequate to good. The backup warning system is excellent. Seat comfort (cloth) excellent. Visibility good. We really like the vehicle. I'd recommend it to others. For comparison we test drove '07 Hyundai Santa Fe, '06 Hyundai Tucson, '07 Chevy Equinox. The Pilot is obviously better than the others, but the Santa Fe was unexpectly nice. Price was an issue. We got a killer deal on a very low mileage unit -- apparently used in CA by a Honda Executive. Otherwise, we may not have been able to afford it.

Deficiencies: Annoying wind resonance with windows down in certain conditions. Rain drips off tops of door frames onto interior door switches (need to install aftermarket wind deflectors for this). Mileage in traffic sucks (we were warned, but part of the bad could be due to operating in extremely cold conditions with numerous short trips). We have not had a long-distance mileage test yet. Suggestions for Honda -- try for better mileage. Poll your potential market for acceptability of trading some power for better mileage.

Peet's Coffee, Boulder CO 29th Street Mall: This is what Starbucks wishes it could be. Why? Peet's had great espresso, good service, a well-trained barista, and they care. The espresso was beyond excellent. We asked "why?" The barista said it was because she was actually well trained. It was obvious beyond the training that she cared about what she was doing. Our suggestion: Ditch Starbucks, go to Peet's. I ordered some Peet's Aged Dark Sumatra and Sulawesi Kalosi. I'll let the world know how it is when it's delivered.

The delivery came today on UPS. We tried the Dark Roast Aged Sumatra. It was packaged with a roasting sticker dated the same day it was shipped. It was fresh, properly roasted, and had the flavor qualities that were advertised for this special variety. The earthiness was distinctive, I sensed overtones of chokecherry, and received a full tongue sensation with a complex, lingering aftertaste. Some would not like the earthiness or the lingering aftertaste, but I personally liked both and consider it truth in advertising -- here's why. I worked for a small coffee roaster in Boulder, CO who was a master at the craft of roasting. He cautioned me to beware of fraudulent claims made by roasters and marketers. Most who haven't worked for a specialty roaster or attended multiple cupping sessions would not be able to distinguish among varieties and roasts. It is a very learned art. I can't reliably tell the difference between varieties by taste, but I can tell whether a coffee marketed as variety X dark roast is different from variety Y. This first experience from Peet's convinced me that they deliver what they advertise. This is a huge quality for me -- to be able to trust my roaster. Congratulations, Peet's, on a favorable first impression. Haven't tried the Sulawesi Kalosi yet.

For all you casual coffee drinkers out there who drink coffee just for the caffeine potential (or don't drink it for some perceived or experienced ill effect such as acid stomach or similar) I challenge you to try some specialty roasts. There are huge differences among variety origins, caffeine content, acidity, etc. (IF you find a trustworthy roaster). Learn to grind and brew it properly, learn a bit about the cupping experience. Learn to experience coffee like fine vintage wines. Find one you can drink black and savor. Then try your usual additives. I used to be a drink it for the caffeine with cream and sugar guy. Any more, I'm almost always a black coffee drinker. I enjoy it more and every once in a while, I add up the calories I save.

Dixie Chicks

I'm positive that these fine women were awarded Grammys on the basis of their talents and politics had nothing to do with it.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

I'm Smokin in the Blog World

In an intense research effort, I found that my blog profile has been viewed by 27 individuals. I thought I was going to be famous or something! It's past my bedtime. Later, world.

Nouveau Black

Just watched Stephen Colbert's u-tube with Debra Dickerson. Very well done. The thought process conjured by this video clip brings up so many ideas for potential comments, I don't even know where to start. For me, the take home message is this: This racism/elections/ politics/reality/ valid content thing is too hugely off- course to even warrant an analysis from me, one of the world's formost analzyers. If I was to state my thoughts in a single sentence, it would be this: Can we stop going off on tangents and generate some solutions to some REAL problems -- like banning incandescent light bulbs?

God for President

O.K. All the '08 presidential candidates appear to have a skeleton or two in the closet. This must mean they are human. We apparently cannot have a flawed human for president, or so our fine mass media would have us believe. Therefore, I feel we should nominate God for president. My God, not yours. Anyone out there want to send God an email and find out if he wants to be a candidate? What's that you say? Everyone already seems to have God on their side? Well, there goes that idea!

I think I'll go read blogs and console myself. Now, where'e I leave those prunes? Oh, yeah -- on the countertop a few blogs back.

Don't forget to vote.