Rebuttal


A friend of mine recently asked me to post a clarification to a comment on one of her Facebook posts. My friend had posted this piece about how climate change skeptics/denialists are so underrepresented in the scientific literature, and someone hit back with many of the standard denialist talking points, including such hits as: There is very much a debate The science is still not settled The government is not financing skeptical science ...when the "piers"(i.e. pier(sic) reviewers) are all alarmist we get--to use a climate science term--a feedback loop there is not one model that has been able to accurately backcast and forecast the climate I'm not a denialist; I'm a skeptic I (now) believe…

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Intern Punks, and the Failure of Science to Teach (Movie) History


The education system in the United States is broken, we all know that. There are several theories about why this is, but that's not what this post is about. This is about intern punks. I work at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and I am happy to do so. I also commute by bus more often than not, which I'm also happy to do. But now that we're into the summer season, a huge influx of dorky college kids have flooded into Boulder, and we all compete for seats on the "GS" regional bus from Boulder and Golden and back each day, and this has been a source of irritation for me these last couple weeks, as the intern population…

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2010 in the Rearview


It's been a while since I've posted anything at all on this blog. I blame Facebook; too easy to snap a photo with my phone and upload it, too easy to link to funny or interesting things on the interwebs via FB or Twitter. But something has been lost in the process. And so begins the list of resolutions: I will try to migrate back to this blog for my vocal and visual outlet, my complaint outpost, my therapy. 2010 was a mixed bag, but I suppose that's the way it is for anyone alive. So, here in 2011, being alive, I suppose I'm up on points -- as are all of you. Specifically: In January 2010, my dear sweet…

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That Awful Day


In memoriam, I'm reposting my September Eleventh Account. I'll save my Armory story for the decade anniversary, a story I have never actually gotten out of my head, but should; but I would like to say something here: The flags and ribbons are showing up again, along with imaginary controversy, xenophobia and hatred, much of it for political gain. Once again, the annual reminder of how we have lost our way. I remember the day after the day after The Day (September 13, 2001), because that was the day we all went back to work in Manhattan, a day when people were all "oh no, after you, go ahead" in the coffee line at the corner deli; there were no…

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Six Years Gone, and Good Riddance


Six years ago this past week, my dad died. I think I'm finally coming to terms with it all, coming to terms with the fact that he was no father to me, that he literally left my sister & me to fend for ourselves almost twenty years prior to his death, when my sister & I were merely teenagers. Ahh, but that was just the legal part (if it's even true, but who cares, because to delve deeper would involve characters in my life that I hate and care not to associate with ever again). In retrospect, "dad" left me and my sister behind, many years before that. Recent revelations make a lot of shit make sense and at the…

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Art & Copy


So, I finally saw this movie I've been meaning to see for a while, "Art & Copy". It's a sad, disgusting (read: excellent) documentary about the collection of whores and egomaniacs working in the advertising business, and, by extension, about everything that is wrong with our society. "By the way, if anyone here is in marketing or advertising...kill yourselves..." --Bill Hicks It was difficult to watch - painful, even; for a variety of reasons. Because my father's best friend (Jim Durfee) is in the film; because my father, my mother-in-law, and college friend all work(ed) in that horrible business. Because I knew from an early age that my father's profession had absolutely no nobility -- getting paid large…

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On Skeleton


Hold it, just hold on a fucking second. The last several Olympics, summer and winter, have carried a certain sporting elitist criticism on various new sports added to the games. Sports like snowboarding and BMX have been derided by various idiots as not being true sports, presumably because the sports' elite athletes utter words like "stoked" -- or the more vehement "totally stoked" -- to explain the inner workings of the sport. Frontside. Backside. Fakie. McTwist. Apparently these are unacceptable bastardizations of the English language, but somehow Slachow is perfectly acceptable conversation if you are listening to Scott Hamilton. Well, this shit all annoyed me but I pawned it off as old school stupidity and narrow mindedness -- until tonight,…

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Adaptations (aka: Happy Birthday, Evolution!)


Today is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection", and I for one am feeling a little celebratory. The importance of Darwin's work cannot be understated. Last year, I took a couple of semesters worth of biology classes, and natural selection could be seen at work throughout those two very entertaining semesters, chapter after chapter, after chapter. Evolution's important shit, man! That Darwin concluded what he did before modern genetics science existed, is a testament to his genius. That evolution can be called into question as "just a theory" by noted scholars such as George W. Bush, and that this stance is perceived as acceptable to any rationally…

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Mad and Madder


Maureen Dowd's Op-ed piece in the Times yesterday was just great. As many Americans continue to struggle, Goldman, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, banks that took government bailout money after throwing the entire world into crisis, have said they will dish out $30 billion in bonuses -- up 60 percent from last year. The saying used to be, whatever happens, the lawyers win. Now, it's whatever happens, the bankers win. This kind of stuff just pisses me off, and it's the kind of stuff that needs to be constantly brought to the surface because, well, because it does. And I was invigorated with a fresh dose of skepticism and hatred for these people, thanks to Ms. Dowd. Dare I say,…

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RIP, Brent Graber


Brent Graber was a guy I casually knew, a co-owner of a fun little dog named Delaney. Brent and his brother were regulars at the ballfield near my house where Hooper & I spend many an evening. Last month, while Hooper was recuperating from his knee injury, Brent got hit by a car and had been in a coma ever since. I found out about Brent's unfortunate predicament a couple weeks after the fact, when Hooper & I returned to the ballfield. Ever since learning of Brent's unfortunate turn of events, I had been keeping tabs on him through a website his family had set up, and silently held out hope for a recovery of any kind. But tonight, at…

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Riled about Resumes


I read a recent post on Lifehacker this morning about resume writing (no, I'm not looking for a job, I just read Lifehacker religiously), and readers were encouraged to post their own tips and peeves in the comments. I thought I'd share my thoughts here. (Can you smell the rant coming from there?) First of all, when did listing your undergraduate GPA on the resume become fashionable? I have discovered, much to my chagrin, that there is a huge emphasis on grade point average in the veterinary school application process, but these people are reviewing applicants for the job of student, essentially. Further, it costs the grad school money to wash people out, so I can see how past performance…

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Oh, and...


now my Time Capsule is not recognized by my new user account on my new machine. Soooooo glad I tried using the "easy" migration fucking "wizard" to make all this fucking bullshit easy. GOD DAMMIT. Will hit this in the morning after a night's rest. I'm sure I can solve this in the way I want, which is to continue to build a new user account on the new machine, from scratch. God dammit.…

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Feel the Rage


I fucking hate this shit. New computer, started setting up, got my iTunes all dialed in, then realized my goddamned motherfucking iPhone is really not interested in syncing with my new setup. Apparently, I was supposed to use the Apple Migration Assistant. That utility is fairly impressive, but now my Mail.app is busted, and I have a crapload of duplicated bytes in the form of redundant applications and all kinds of extra shit. The whole point of the new computer was to start fresh, and now I have one halfway setup user account on the new computer (that does not want to speak to my iPhone), and all the binary turdlets from my old computer copied over, with a…

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Words Fail Me


Oh my god, he did it! Barack defeated the idiots, the racists, the conservatives. He did it, he fucking did it! Colorado is a blue state, the United States has a new President-elect and a Democratic Senate majority. Now hey, I was 24 when Clinton was elected, ending twelve years of Republican rule. I heard similar rhetoric then, and similar projections of new beginnings, and I got semi-caught up in it. Does anyone remember the health care promises made back then? Thought so. No, I'm still a hard line cynic, and Obama's still a politician. But I am of course going to look to the future with a lot more hope than I have had following the last two Presidential…

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There's a Reason for the Silence:


I am unable to speak--have been for days--because I saw Bob Costas' Olympic hair. You have GOT to be fucking kidding me.…

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Let's Talk About Team Building


You wanna know the secret to happiness? You ready? Meeting avoidance. Especially the ones with a million people in a small stuffy room, featuring some smiling idiot waving his arms around and acting like personal insight and self-reflection is some kind of new fucking concept. I was unsuccessful at avoiding one of these types of meetings today, and I still have a headache. What the hell is this crap, this "team building" bullshit?! It's a colossal waste of time and money, time and money that will be bickered about at the end of the project when there is no budget left to get some actual work done. I spent four hours (FOUR HOURS!!) of my life today listening to some…

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The Horror of Bike to Work Day


Today in Colorado it's "Bike to Work Day", part of the greater "Walk and Bike Month" promoted by the state and various organizations. (Nationally, this event happens in April or May, but in Colorado there could be a foot of snow on the roads then, so we do it a little later here.) Now, on the surface of things, this is great. a major promotion of the use of alternative transportation, to open your eyes to the wonders of commuting outside of that steel box you drive the rest of the year. In the spirit of promoting the event and rewarding the riders and walkers, businesses all over Boulder set up stands and hand out free breakfasts and free samples…

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Cross-burning Aside, Johnny's Good People


My old college roommate sent me this gem, an a.p. story out of Columbus, Ohio. Read to the end for the kicker; I even put it in bold type, not that it needs any emphasis. Ohio board reviews report of teacher burning kids By DOUG WHITEMAN, Associated Press Writer COLUMBUS, Ohio - Members of the Mount Vernon school board met Friday to discuss a finding that a middle school teacher preached his Christian beliefs despite staff complaints, even using a device to burn the image of a cross on students' arms. Mount Vernon Middle School teacher John Freshwater also taught creationism in his science class and was insubordinate in failing to remove a Bible and other religious materials from…

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News: Heartless Bitches can Raise Children and Pets (or, why I want to be a vet)


This shit makes me crazy. The local paper ran an article today about the booming pet care business, especially in dog-crazy Boulder. Here in Boulder, there is a "law" that encourages Boulder pet owners to refer to themselves as their pet's "guardians", not "owners". You know how I feel about this one; I have a receipt. But it gives you an idea of the mentality Boulder residents have towards their pets, and in general I think it's great. Here, our dogs are our kids. They hike (off-leash) with us, they frolic in the many dog parks, they are welcome in many businesses, not just the multitude of pet stores and pet bakeries (yes, pet bakeries), and they are everywhere. In…

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Cause and Effect


Ever since Brenda & I moved to Boulder there has been one glaring omission from our daily lives, and that is settling down to read a good local newspaper. Back in Jersey, the Star Ledger was an excellent paper that originated from the local county where we last lived in that state. We got great reporting and writing, on everything from the international to the very local. The sports page was phenomenal. Molly Ivins' column was printed regularly, and we had almost no use for the New York Times and its holier-than-thou masthead font (and pricing). Here in Boulder, we have the Daily Camera. Now, being a Boulder newspaper, the Camera boasts some interesting and fun features that definitely pander…

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Happy Earth Day (plus rant!)


Mornin' folks, happy Earth Day. I'm closing in on three years working for a sustainable design consultant, and I'm delighted to be applying my lighting design and simulation skills toward saving a little energy and creating more pleasant built environments. But I have to say, these years of observing how we work has taught me that we don't always help our cause when we act all holier-than-thou while making our case for sustainable living. Smug email signatures come to mind, for example. I think as a group, we need to be less preachy and while we're at it, maybe start walking the walk a little bit more. My office parking lot is filled with SUVs and luxury sedans, which I…

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Patriot


Webster's defines a patriot as "one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests". But with a country this divided, the term almost has no validity anymore. I mean, our country's "authority and interests" are presently defined by the Bush administration. Therefore, our country's so-called authority is bogus, stolen, abused, misused and illegally expanded. Our interests? Hegemony and Looking Out for Number One. Sure as hell, I don't support those. Am I not a patriot? The first patriots were revolutionaries. Maybe it's time to restore the original definition.…

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Here's the Deal


Clinton(s) suck, Obama is our best hope at the moment. Hillary, you are a hawk in a dress, and your move to New York to become a Senator and wage this campaign was sad, sorry and obvious, and you only feed the right wing machine. You have nothing to offer, yet take in millions (in big chunks) to spread your hollow messages about experience and how much you care about and have done for Texas and Ohio (at the moment). You suck, I hate you, and I have donated money to a political campaign for the first time in my life (obviously not for your sorry, smug ass) because I sincerely hope that Obama's momentum continues to roll right…

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Wikigagged


An editorial in today's Daily Camera mentions a recent judge's recent order to "disable" the domain name of wikileaks.org, a site that purportedly offers up Standard Operating Procedures for American troops in Iraq, Gitmo, and other evidence of corporate wrongdoing. Potentially interesting reading, and protected under the First Amendment for chrissakes. Luckily the judge is an idiot, and does not understand the domain naming system too well. Here's the IP address: http://88.80.13.160. As the editorial says, visit the site today. Do it to honor the First Amendment.…

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My New Anthem


My preferred candidates are already out of the race or are still languishing under the boot of Big Media so no one even knows who they are (Dodd's out? Dodd who?). I find myself wanting to comment on the race, and then again I like my blood pressure where it's at currently. So I simply offer the lyrics of this song, written by Ian MacKaye, as we march on toward November hoping for the best and expecting the worst. "Everybody Knows" The Evens You arrive with empty duffel bags, hungry eyed You looked around taking measurements to move inside The capital it is your proving ground, your centering You and yours can keep your scores, but Washington is our city…

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TiVo Upgrade


A while back I posted a tearful tribute, in song, to my dear departed TiVo. I still don't know what happened to it, but it was an old Series 2 with the "40 Hour" capacity. She served her owners proud for almost four years, and I decided it would be cheaper and certainly faster to replace it with a new box rather than try to fix old blue. The "80 hour" Series 2 TiVos are now yesterday's news, and apparently there was a big promotion through TiVo's website recently so there was a glut of those babies available on eBay. After losing several auctions by a buck, I finally scored one for eighty bucks and the seller was nice enough…

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The Night The TiVo Died


I'm so distraught, I put it into song: The Night the TiVo Died (sung to the tune of Paper Lace's "The Night Chicago Died") In the chill of a winter's night In the land of the yoga hippies When Rob & Brenda's TiVo died And they talk about it still When Rob arrived home from work Brenda displayed a nervous quirk She said "I have some bad news" And then she gestured towards the tube We heard Robbie cry We heard him pray the night the TiVo died Brother what a night it really was Brother what a plight it really was Live TV We heard Robbie cry We heard him pray the night the TiVo died Brother what a…

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Green Signatures in the News (Again)


Well, my silly little piece on "green" email signatures is in the news again, this time in the L.A. Times. When I wrote that, it was cathartic because I was so frustrated by a particular co-worker and his sanctimonious ways, and his mindless insistence that we all preach to our clients this message that I felt went without saying. Who knew it would become the single most popular post on my website and the source for two newspaper articles on green email signatures (and a television interview that as far as I know landed on the cutting room floor)? Of course the fact that I work in sustainable design and live in left-leaning Boulder Colorado made my frowny post…

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Briefly...


OK, I know it's been a while. Here is what's on my mind: When you own a dog, you clean more than ever, and yet your place is generally messier. It's snowing on the high peaks. Winter is just about here. While I like the look of the mountains with the snow on them, I'm dreading the thought of a winter like we had last year here in Boulder. The Colorado Rockies (baseball club) are absolutely tearing it up, and they remind me of the Phillies of 1993, another team of lower-paid gamers who ended up playing like a team instead of a collection of overpaid egos. I'll be rooting for a National League team this year in the World…

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So Vino WAS on the Floyd Landis Recovery Diet!


Vino cracks, loses a half hour in the hills; his Tour is over. Next day, Vino takes a stage win in convincing fashion, thrills the fans. Hmmm... Son of a bitch, Vinokourov tested positive. The fuckin' idiot doped during the Tour de France, testing positive and getting his whole team kicked out of the Tour with less than a week to go, taking teammate Andreas Kloden--sitting pretty in fifth position--with him. If I were Andreas, I'd be pissed, but then maybe I'd be hoping I didn't get my ass caught too, since I'd be on the Astana team, a horrid joke of a doping conclave. Let's not forget that this was the gang of idiots that couldn't even field a…

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Boulder Cruiser Ride(s)


Yeah so last week I wrote a post that purported to be about a cool cruiser bike, but was really a platform for me to bitch about a local bike ride that I felt had fallen into a sad display of Boulder elitism. I railed against these people and their policy of requiring costumes and cruisers on the ride. Since that time, some of the people I was complaining about found my little rant, and posted some seemingly witty retorts; what they really did was show their true colors. Meanwhile, several other bastions of the true spirit of the ride emailed me off-line and showed me the seamy underbelly of the Boulder bikeride/cruiser/chill/hangout groove, and as you…

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Best Cruiser Ever


I must have one of these! The Ellsworth "The Ride" is the coolest cruiser bike ever, and I am now accepting donations towards the purchase of one of these bad boys. And I promise to ride it around Boulder and not be an elitist asshole like the local "Boulder Cruiser Bikeride" jerkoffs who have taken their little (formerly large) ride underground (sort-of) and excluded all people who show up on non-cruiser bikes or not in costume (and, let's face it, costumes are, like, totally stupid, even on Halloween). I realize I have not given sufficient back story on the Boulder Cruiser Ride, but I guess those assholes never gave me enough good times to do so. And now you have…

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This Guy Goes in First


There's an old joke that goes like this: Q: What do you call 5,000 dead lawyers at the bottom of the ocean? A: A good start. And this schmuck is why that joke exists: Read: Tearful Testimony in $54 Million Pants Lawsuit The guy wants $54M for a pair of lost pants, and he's so upset about it that he broke down in tears as he questioned himself on the stand about his ordeal. Yes, you read that correctly. You have to love the author of the news story; clearly he was having a ball with this one. Best line: "The business owners claim they have his pants, but he's pressing ahead with his suit." Ba-dum, PISH!…

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Surf's Up (or, Sopranos Finale)


So, after eight absolutely fantastic fucking seasons, The Sopranos run has come to an end. The finale was a mixed bag, and the salt in the wound is that the lame-ish ending is followed by the premiere of a fucking surfer show. The Sopranos has entertained me on so many levels it will take much more than a blog post at this hour to explain it. Suffice to say, the lingo brings back memories of my youth and my quote database is proof of that. The first time Brenda & I watched the show we were in a hotel room with HBO and after 15 seconds of the opening sequence, where Tony drives through the Lincoln Tunnel, past the Hoboken…

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Still Sucking


The latest evidence of Outlook's suck-osity (right-click and select "view image" to see at full resolution):…

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Crash


So, my fabulous weekend came to an abrupt halt this morning, quite literally. As I was flying though the air, I thought, yep, weekend's over. Lemme back up a bit. I was riding to work, about to join the Foothills bike path when this dude making a right onto the Boulder Creek Path decides he's just going to use the entire bike path to make his turn. Problem was, I was thinking I might just use the right half of the path myself. We collided, I went flying up and over him and ended up on my back, thinking "what the hell just happened?" By the time I got to the office I was a little light headed and was…

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Dopes


What a bunch of idiots these guys are. With the Floyd Landis Show currently unfolding at Pepperdine University, complete with tales of Greg LeMond's weenie and an obsfucatory defense that would make Johnnie Cochran proud, now it appears that Oscar Pereiro -- the man who finished second to Landis in the 2006 Tour de France and the man who stands poised to claim a belated yellow jersey if Landis is proven guilty of cheating -- is also mixed up in the Operation Puerto scandal, the scandal that has already forced Jan Ullrich out of the sport and brought Ivan Basso into the darkest point of his career (and hopefully will rid the sport of Tyler Hamilton once and for all)…

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The Honorable Sam "Ace" Rothstein


Much as I'm enjoying watching Alberto Gonzales go down in flames, the rabid scenes in the Senate last week were quite tiresome. Seriously; Nancy Pelosi with foam dribbling from her jowls is incredibly unappetizing. All these donation-collecting suit monkeys crawling around Washington are the same: they only show some stones once it becomes clear that the only idiot in town bigger than Gonzales is Bush. I'm sick of hearing them all talk, from both sides of the aisle. And I have a proposal to fix this: If I can find a quote from a mob movie that fits the situation, the quote shall serve as hearing, trial, verdict, end of story. No op-ed pieces, no press conferences, and for damn…

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Outlook Sucks, Part IV


Good morning Rob, Outlook here. Guess what? I still suck.…

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Uh, Al? Helloooooo...


The other day I signed and emailed a message to Congress calling for action to solve the climate change issues facing the planet, and sent it to Al Gore as part of his presentation in Washington. Yesterday, I got this thank you email: Dear Rob, Thank you! By 10:00 AM yesterday, as I took my seat in the hearing room, an incredible 519,414 people had signed our message to Congress demanding immediate action to solve the climate crisis. All of those boxes chock full of your messages, sitting right next to me as I testified, were a fantastic show of support and one that is already having an impact as our Representatives and Senators begin to debate solutions…

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