Tuesday, October 30, 2007

raisingdc update

lindsay wrote a great recap on our raisingdc blog. the girls' parents signed papers allowing the girls to be adopted. check out the other blog for more info.

it is a wonderful ending to a pretty amazing saga. lots and lots of ups and downs. incredible highs and lows.

i keep thinking about the first time i met them. lindsay and i had been called to be their mom's visiting teachers (we visited her once a month). at the time we didn't know shelia at all and had no idea she had children. in the middle of our visit 2 little heads peaked around the corner (they we 7 and 8). their mom yelled at them to go back to their room. their curiosity wouldn't let them stay away and finally we convinced shelia to let them stay.

amazingly, lindsay and i both left with the exact same impression. our calling was not to help shelia but to help those girls. we were instantly in love with them. little did we know where that love would lead us. (i guess you never know)

i am really happy that they are given a shot a better lives. i am happy that God moved mountains so that they could find their new homes. i have so much hope for these girls. i have never met people with more promise. i have never met girls with a tougher road. but i think they will do it!

it is joyous indeed. and i think this is what i hoped l'anne de l'amusement would give to me.

everyone, the whole raisingdc cast, must be feeling crazy mix of emotions with all of this change. i just hope peace and happiness trumps them all.

Friday, October 26, 2007

year of the house?

i like having a theme for a year. this year's theme, year of fun, has been awesome. i kinda want to do a redux next year. possible themes for '08 include:
  • year of visiting friends (i have friends all over this planet and i think that could be fun!)
  • year of the house (more on that in a moment)
  • year of productivity (to counter this last year)
  • jubilee year (a year to start new with all grudges and debts being forgiven... dianna don't get any ideas about those shoes)
so if you opinions send them my way.

the year of visiting friends would be fun. marc and michelle are moving to china. i am going to be so sad. they are going to take their sons with them which i just think is kinda unfair. trent and vanessa are in syria. kim and abe are in male, maldives. dianna's bro. is done with his mission in cambodia. alessandro in tuscany (friend from tunisia) invited us to see tuscany; something we have been planning on doing on our bikes. and then there are all my friends scattered around america. so it would be fun. i could use all my vacation time. and frankly if my work travel looks the way i think it will, i can probably get near to some of these places during a business trip.

year of the house would be completely opposite. i have always wanted to buy a fixer-upper house and fix it up. with the housing market the way it is, i think i can get a pretty good deal. i would like to buy a row house in a part of town where if i needed to i could rent it out. i would want a pretty messed up house. essentially something that has a solid foundation and solid plumbing, but everything else could go. because i want to make it a really energy efficient green house. there are all sorts of grants and tax incentives to make a house green, so i would love finding all of them and using the system to help me create a house i would enjoy. this would mean that all of my leave would be used to fixing the house. i wouldn't see any of these friends (well i would probably end up seeing a couple). but i would have to really be disciplined and use my leave to get the house fixed up. i think i would feel really responsible and that might be nice. there are all sorts of cool new materials (think bamboo floors, green roofs and insulation made out of old levis). it could be really fun. plus hopefully i could get some return on the investment.

the other 2 themes are definitely b tier ideas.

so you got an opinion. please comment.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

butternut squash soup

tonight dianna and i made this soup. it was awesome!

2 butternut squash (about 4 3/4 pounds total), halved lengthwise, seeded (keep seeds!!!)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
2 cups thinly sliced onion
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cinnamon stick
5 cups (or more) canned low-salt chicken broth

bake the seeded squash face down on a cookie sheet at 375°F until squash is very soft, about 50 minutes. make sure to oil the cookie sheet.

while this is baking you can cook up the squash seeds. just a little bit of peanut oil in a frying pan. heat oil. place seeds in. salt seeds to your liking. cook, moving regularly until seeds are golden brown.

remove peel from squash (i just pealed it with my hands); discard peel. cut squash into 2-inch pieces. heat peanut oil in large pot. mix in onion, brown sugar, ginger, garlic and cinnamon (turn heat down to a slow simmer). cook until onion is tender, about 15 minutes. add squash and all the chicken broth. boil. reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. use a hand soup mixer thing to puree the whole thing up. make sure to throw out the cinnamon.

garnish soup with roasted seeds.


Why Sports are Critical for Young Girls

not very well written, but still cool...

Why Sports are Critical for Young Girls

Brandi Chastain

Posted September 18, 2007 | 05:54 PM (EST)

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I have been involved with athletics since, well, before I can remember. If it wasn't kicking the ball, it was climbing trees, riding skateboard ramps, swinging on the playground bars, throwing the football, hitting homers over my neighbors' house, swimming in the neighbor's pool. And after all of this, some 34 years later, I still love to play. The pure joy, love, and passion have always been the underlying themes, albeit I didn't know that when I was six.

But now I have those same emotions for different reasons, and it is why I KNOW, not believe, sports are CRITICAL for young girls. I call them the 5 C's. Challenge, Communication, Competition, Community and Celebration. All these categories fulfill a life necessity.

One, Challenge. Learning to set goals, (short-, medium- and long-term) and figuring out ways to achieve them. Two, Communication. Becoming comfortable with your voice, and how to share it with others. Knowing that I can speak up no matter my environment, or how tough a situation. Three, Competition. Always hoping that the other team is tough, has its best players and putting myself up to the test to see what I am made of. Giving my all during training so that my teammates get better, and relying on them to do the same for me. Four, Community. Experiencing how teams work, succeed and fail. Teams are microcosms of real life (family, education, relationships, neighborhoods). Decisions, conflict, good times, and even bad happen in teams. Realizing that we all have to be leaders, workers, teachers, listeners so that we can all achieve. Five, Celebration. When we do something well (large or small), we should feel good about what we've done and cherish the moment -- we can express that without hesitation or embarrassment. A pump of the fist, a smile on our face, a leaping high five, or even a ripping off of the shirt. It should be a right, not a privilege.

Young boys and men have been experiencing these concepts almost from birth, perhaps since the beginning of time. The time has finally come that now encourages young girls and women to explore the depths of their psychological, physical and emotional components so they may too see how sports impact their person off the field. Dare to Dream is an amazing showcase how a group of women, over time, came together at just the most perfect era in history to explore, and express, all of the above. I hope everyone who watches, not only shares it with someone else, but uses it as a guide to all the could be possible in their own life.

Dare to Dream: The Story of the U.S. Women's Soccer Team is now available on DVD from HBO Video.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

better late than never

i haven't yet planted my fall garden yet...duh. but i just ordered all my seeds . . .

i am super excited!!! hopefully stuff is going to grow. maybe the warming of the globe will make my garden grow??

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

why i love walking to work

yesterday i was inspired (i am pretty sure inspired is the right verb here) to walk to work. i had been riding my bike, but the weather was so nice blah blah blah so i walked. thank goodness!

walking out the door, i immediately noticed that there were 3 helicopters circling our neighborhood. never a good sign. thankfully it was due to the capitol is abuzz with protesters for the world bank meetings . this is what i saw.

this guy is from new mexico. he came to talk to his senator. he was really stoked. i took his picture and told him i would send him this photo if he emailed me. so i gave him by business card. as i was walking away he said "MSW? in new mexico we call them mexican social workers" i said, "i wish!" mostly because it is Country Operational Plan season for PEPFAR and anything sounds better. though maybe being a mexican social worker is the way to go? it is time for a change and all.

any time you see this on your way to work, you know the day won't be half bad!

so as i am meandering through the crowd i walked past the lady with the blow horn. when suddenly 4 cops came up and picked up this windmill made of bamboo and cardboard. the protesters had set it in the grass (they had asked permission) but these punk cops decided that it wasn't okay.

i really was disturbed by the machismo of this whole scene

the protesters started shouting "free our windmill"

the blow horn lady shouted "just like bush to steal beautiful and good things and treat them like crimes"
seriously, how do people come up with this stuff?

i think the cops got in trouble...i hope. i had to get to work, but i thought i saw them carrying the bamboo pretend windmill back...

World Bank Protesters Keep Police Busy on Capitol Hill
Monday, Oct. 22, 2007; 10:55 am

Nearly 60 people have been arrested this morning on Capitol Hill — and more arrests could occur throughout the day — as an array of groups hold protests for causes entered on the annual meetings of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Eleven people were arrested early this morning for unlawful assembly and incommoding at the Cannon House Office Building, and 10 more were arrested in the Cannon Rotunda. Police also arrested seven people on the sidewalk outside of Cannon.

Near the intersection of New Jersey and Independence avenues Southeast, protesters sat in the middle of the road shortly after 8 a.m., forcing police to temporarily divert traffic. Twenty-six people were arrested for unlawful assembly.

Just as police reopened the street, another group of protesters then took the road, forcing police to arrest an additional five people for unlawful assembly, including two minors. The streets have since been reopened.

Protests have taken place throughout Washington, D.C., in the past several days as officials gather at the World Bank and the IMF for annual talks. Several streets near those offices remain closed.

— Elizabeth Brotherton

Copyright 2007 © Roll Call Inc. All rights reserved.

the malaria monologues

a few years ago (maybe 2003?), melanie, lindsay and i decided to participate in a malaria vaccine trial. melanie had just moved and thought the extra cash might be nice. i thought "getting paid to save the world? that is what i live to do!" so we did it. i felt very noble.

first we had to have a serious physical to see if we were up to snuff for the study. we all passed with flying colors. then we started the inoculations. we were given 3 dosages of either the vaccine pre addition of a protein, the vaccine with protein, or a placebo (no vaccine at all) over the course of 3 months.

each week we drove to walter reed medical research center in silver spring, md at 5:30 am to have our blood drawn and earn about $50 (? lindsay how much did each draw earn us?). the drive was about 45 minutes. the time was filled with very heady conversation. we decided we would write a book: "the malaria monologues." we didn't.

during one drive the conversation was so good that we missed getting on the capitol beltway and ended up turning around at BWI--a mistake that cost us at least one hour.

lindsay eventually dropped out because she got a fellowship to germany. melanie and i got to "test" the vaccine.

we were taken to a very different part of walter reed. way more lab coats. no windows. curious boxes etc. we were escorted into a part of the building with mosquito stuff everywhere. lots of malaria charts. there were boxes of caged mosquitos. we sat down at a table. we were asked to expose our forearms and place the meaty portion of our arms over a dixie cup with a screen over it. in the cup were 5 malaria infected starving mosquitoes.

we sat with our arms on the malaria dixie cups for exactly 5 minutes. the little buggers just went to town on our arms. then they removed the cup from our arms and examined the mosquitoes proboscis for both my blood and the parasite. my little guys all did their work well. melanie had to do it again. one of her mosquitoes hadn't eaten. so they put another mosquito (just one) in the cup and she sat again for 5 minutes.

it was really weird to sit there realizing that i inflicting myself with malaria. i had seen people with it in africa and i never wanted that miserable disease. but then, that is why i was doing it. i was hoping that i could help in the process of getting this vaccine so that less people were infected.

after 10 days we had to go to walter reed EVERY day to have our blood checked for the parasite and at a certain point they had all of the "human subjects" check into the hilton in silver spring so they could monitor us. we had to have morning and evening blood draws. melanie got sick about 14 days into it. she was really miserable. i took care of her a couple of nights but i felt fine.

at some point i decided i didn't want to stay at the hotel anymore. it was just a pain in the butt to commute and stuff. near the end of the trial: day 22 i had a HUGE meeting at HHS. so i skipped the evening draw and planned to skip the morning draw for the meeting. i seemed fine and didn't really want to lose the time driving.

you can guess what happened. in the middle of the night i started to feel like i had the flu. i called, but the nurse on duty was a temp and she didn't know me or much about what she was doing and told me just to come in the morning. i couldn't because of the meeting and i explained that to her. she didn't seem to care. i figured, must just be the flu.

by morning i was shaking and sweating. determined, i still attended the meeting. but during lunch went and had my blood drawn. they gave me some chloroquine and said they would call with results. soon i was bestowed the honor of having the highest parasite count of all the human subjects (i had the worst case). the chloroquine really tripped me out. driving home from my second blood draw of the day i called my friend katharine lost in my own city. i guess i said some crazy stuff???

i was sick for a long time. i was training for a "team in training" triathlon for denny allred who at the time was suffering with multiple myloma. the triathlon was 2 weeks away. the malaria really slowed down my time, but it was still fun.

anyway, the other day i read the following in the UN news and felt like all i had suffered had been more than worth it.

(btw, i made actually no money for the whole thing. i was taxed on my earnings from there and i think it took almost all of it) still this makes it all worth it!!!!!!!

Africa: Breakthrough in Malaria Vaccine Trials

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks
19 October 2007

An anti-malaria vaccine offering improved protection to children could be registered for use in four years, potentially saving millions of young lives, new research conducted in Mozambique has shown.

Scientists announced this week that a clinical trial involving 214 infants had confirmed the safety of the RTS,S/AS02D malaria vaccine. More children die of malaria than any other disease - over one million every year, most of whom are African children under five - and it is a major reason why Mozambique still has one of the world's highest child mortality rates, according to the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Research by Dr Pedro Alonso, of the Manhica Health Research Centre, in Mozambique, and the Hospital Clinic of the Universitat de Barcelona, in Spain, and colleagues, indicated that the vaccine could reduce the risk of new infections by 65 percent. A previous trial in 2004 indicated 45 percent effectiveness for the same vaccine.

Global pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, with the help of the Malaria Vaccine Initiative by PATH, an international, non-profit health organisation, are developing it.

The children were randomly split into two groups, one assigned to receive three doses of the vaccine and the other to receive a hepatitis B vaccine as a control, at ages 10 weeks, 14 weeks and 18 weeks. Initial findings were published in the British medical journal, the Lancet.

Researchers said the candidate vaccine was "safe, well-tolerated and highly immunogenic [evoked a strong immune response] in young infants living in a rural area of southern Mozambique", and that the study had provided evidence of a strong association between vaccine-induced antibodies and a reduced risk of malaria infection.

"We have shown that a vaccine can reduce the risk of malaria infection in young African infants exposed to intense transmission of P. falciparum," the researchers said. Plasmodium falciparum is the most lethal of the four strains of the malaria parasite that infect humans: an initial severe infection can kill up to one in four victims unless they receive medical help.

The parasite has developed resistance to many of the older and cheaper drugs being phased out in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, but only a tiny percentage of African children are treated with the new, more expensive and effective combination therapies.

First steps

The complex life cycle of the parasite, and its ability to remain undetected by the human immune system, means a long-lasting vaccine that is close to being totally effective is still many years away. The parasite also undergoes various changes as it develops in the mosquito - the vector, or main carrier, of the disease - as well as in the human liver, blood system, and red blood cells, making it difficult to target.

Vaccines in development tend to target different stages of the parasite's life cycle in humans, and the RTS,S/AS02D candidate vaccine aims to reduce its ability to infect and proliferate in the liver.

Repeated malarial infections result in a natural immunity if the person survives the first bouts. Adults and older children living in endemic malaria areas can show no clinical signs of the disease, even though they may be infected with the parasite. Older children may be more able to survive their first attack of malaria, which can damage the liver, kidneys and central nervous system, including the brain.

There is no easy way to fight malaria, but until the development of a vaccine that can totally prevent infection, preventing deaths by deferring infection among young children and reducing the severity of the disease are the best strategy.

According to the researchers, the vaccine would be effective as part of a layered strategy against malaria, including the provision of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) and spraying insecticides to protect people against mosquitoes. According to the WHO, if used properly, ITNs can cut malaria transmission by at least 60 percent and child deaths by a fifth.

Monday, October 22, 2007


i joined facebook. hopefully i won't have a spamming extravaganza with it like i did stupid shelfari. i just wasted 3 hours surfing around. it was pretty fun. i started looking for old friends and i think i might have even found some. i sure hope so.

anyway. i fear that this might be a major distraction during this COP season. i have loads and loads of work to do the next month. and it is kinda dreadful work. i wonder if i joined facebook so i could have some distraction from all the mucky work?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

hooray for meters in DC cabs

i am so happy to see this latest move from mayor fenty!!!! if you haven't lived here you won't really appreciate how many fights you can get into with cab drivers who are trying to weasel extra money out of you. now if they will just quit driving the gas guzzling huge sedans and switch to a prius we will be in good shape!

News Release for Immediate Release
October 17, 2007

Fenty Mandates Time and Distance Meters for DC Cabs

Today, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that he will sign a Mayoral Order requiring District of Columbia taxicabs to switch from the current zone fare system to time and distance meters. The system, created by Congress during the Great Depression, makes the District the only major city in the country with taxis that operate on a zone system instead of meters. Fenty made the decision to change systems after a thorough investigation of best practices across the country as well as input from the residents, taxi drivers and the hospitality community.

“As we work to become a world-class city, it is essential that all aspects of District government are user friendly, fair and efficient for residents and visitors alike,” said Fenty. “District residents are overwhelmingly in favor of modernizing and simplifying the fare system. By switching to time and distance meters, we meet the needs of the residents and standardize the experience for every taxi passenger.”

Time and distance meters calculate the fare based on a standard rate for distance traveled as well as time spent stopped in traffic. The current system is based on the number of zones crossed during the trip. The zones are not a standard size or based on major geographic landmarks.

The meters will allow passengers to see how the fare is calculated, while currently passengers have to rely on a vague map and visitors to the District have to rely on the taxi driver to calculate the fare. Meters also enable the District to more accurately track the number of trips, collect taxes based on the number of rides and gather information about usage patterns.

The Fenty administration will work with the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission to create a timeline and transition plan for all District taxis.

i can't decide which of these "types" i am. i am not sure i am one. also, i am not sure i totally get why we need to know our body type. but for whatever reason, this stuff is interesting to me.

Trinny and Susannah reveal 12 women's body types - which are you?

Last updated at 13:35pm on 18th October 2007

Comments Comments (22)

Susannah and Trinny

Well dressed: Susannah and Trinny show how to transform yourself

It's always hard to find clothes to suit you.

But now TV style gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine say they have found the formula that will enable every woman to transform herself.

In their brilliant new book, The Body Shape Bible, they have identified 12 body shapes - not just the classic Pear, Apple and Hourglass - which they say are the real key to looking great.

In the first part of our exclusive series we show you how to identify your shape, and the clothes that will highlight your assets and minimise flaws.

Scroll down for to find your shape ...

body shape
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

is daylight savings time saving anything?

personally i LOVE daylight savings time and HATE daylight standard time. in fact i don't know why we don't just make the savings time the standard time. and if we are going to move at all in the winter we should more our clocks ahead NOT back.

i grew up in arizona where we didn't do this silliness. we just had noon. noon was always at noon. we didn't play with it. i have never gotten used to people playing with the time. i think the first time i experienced it, i was kinda excited. then i realized that i would miss an hour of sleep. STUPID!

the truth is it seems like we actually LOSE daylight when we "fall back". the sun goes down so early that i have a hard time exercising or even seeing the light of day. there are a few weeks in december/january where i don't see the light of day. i get to work when it is dark and go home in the dark. it really sucks.

i think we would all be healthier if we could have daylight savings time all year long!

ben franklin came up with the concept when americans were agronomists. not many of us do that anymore. and many of us that do are part-timers. Ben hoped to provide more daylight in the mornings so that people could get the milk out and the cows fed etc in the light. saving daylight meant having more in the morning.

things have changed significantly since then. now saving daylight means having more in the evening, when much of america comes home from their cubicles.

some options to this antiquated system:
go back to doing it the way the romans did. they had 12 hours of sunlight no matter what. in the summer those hours were longer, in the winter they were shorter. but 12 hours nonetheless. maybe loosening up on our stringent perceived control of time would also reduce the anxiety produced by missing things by one minute etc. we would all just become more flexible as we calculated time differently?

lindsay heard an interesting proposal on cartalk awhile back: DAILY SAVINGS TIME.
i wholly support this.

"Daily Savings Time"

Peter Kallin

Dear Click and Clack,

The clocks would be set forward by an hour every afternoon at 3:30 p.m., immediately making it 4:30 and almost time to quit work. Every business would immediately save an hour's worth of energy costs every day, a roughly 12% savings. Workers' morale would immediately improve and productivity would soar, since not much gets done after 3:30, anyway.

But wait! There's more. The second part of my plan is to move the clock back an hour every morning at 4:30 a.m., immediately making it 3:30 a.m. This would allow nearly everyone to get an extra hour of sleep every night. Since studies show that the typical American is sleep deprived, this would have immediate health benefits. People would awaken every morning well rested, and in a good mood — even teenagers!

I think that you guys have the technical background to truly appreciate what great savings are available with this straightforward concept. With your support, we can make this happen!

These are just a few of the benefits of Daily Savings Time. Granted, there would be some minor inconveniences, especially for those who work at night. However, the overall benefits far outweigh these minor inconveniences.

In closing, I quote Ben Franklin: "For the great benefit of this discovery, thus freely communicated and bestowed by me on the public, I demand neither place, pension, exclusive privilege, nor any other reward whatever. I expect only to have the honor of it."

Peter Kallin
Doylestown, PA

I have to say, from a public health perspective this only seems beneficial. incredibly beneficial. the loss of the hour during work would have very limited impact on our productivity. peter, you are a genius, my friend!

if you love daily savings time, write your congressman. for some reason, that circus full of monkeys is in charge of our clocks.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

of course iraq was about oil

Abizaid: ‘We’ve Treated The Arab World As A Collection Of Big Gas Stations’

abizaid.jpgUPDATE: The Stanford Daily, which originally reported on the round table, incorrectly attributed some of New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s comments to Gen. Abizaid. Though Abizaid did say “Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” it was Friedman who said “We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations.” The Daily has posted a correction.

During a round table discussion on “the Fight for Oil, Water and a Healthy Planet” at Stanford University on Saturday, Gen. John Abizaid (Ret.), the former CENTCOM Commander, said that “of course” the Iraq war is “about oil“:

Of course it’s about oil, we can’t really deny that,” Abizaid said of the Iraq campaign early on in the talk.

We’ve treated the Arab world as a collection of big gas stations,” the retired general said. “Our message to them is: Guys, keep your pumps open, prices low, be nice to the Israelis and you can do whatever you want out back. Osama and 9/11 is the distilled essence that represents everything going on out back.”

Abizaid has previously argued that the U.S. would need “to keep a long-term military presence in Iraq” in order to protect “the free flow of goods and resources” such as oil, but his Stanford comments go much further in pinning oil as a prime motivator for the war.

The Bush administration, however, still denies any connection between the war in Iraq and America’s geopolitical interest in Middle East oil. Just last month, after former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan wrote that “the Iraq War is largely about oil,” Defense Secretary Robert Gates rejected the notion, saying “I just don’t believe it’s true“:

“I wasn’t here for the decision-making process that initiated it, that started the war,” Gates said. But he added, “I know the same allegation was made about the Gulf War in 1991, and I just don’t believe it’s true.”

“I think that it’s really about stability in the Gulf. It’s about rogue regimes trying to develop weapons of mass destruction. It’s about aggressive dictators,” Gates said.

Though Abizaid says that Bush’s Iraq policy seeks to keep oil “prices low,” the per-barrel cost of oil has risen dramatically since the U.S. first invaded. In March 2003, the price of oil was roughly US$35 a barrel. Today, prices reached “above $85 a barrel for the first time.”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

photos of the engine

for people who read my blog with a reader, i thought you might like to know that i posted some photos of the engine. they are really cool. i just decided to keep it with the original post for continuity. but then i did this so...whateve. there are not rules to blogging.....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

the engine that will change the world

a few years ago i went to sarah and tomicah's for lunch and before i knew it tomicah was showing me slides for a engine that would change the world. it was an engine that his brother (younger brother corban. at the time i think he was 17) developed, but that he had contributed to. it was fascinating. being the mad scientist that i am, i didn't really get it. but i got that it was a huge improvement from the regular piston action we are used to in our combustion engines. it also tapped into this crazy thing i have thought for a long time. my dad and i used to work on his car and motorcycles together (mostly i would be in the way, but i liked to think i was helping.) he explained to me how inefficient the combustion engine was and how there were better carburetors developed but that evil selfish auto and oil industry leaders wouldn't let these carburetors out to the market. suddenly, here was an engine that so completely improved upon it that it might mean we could no longer be dependant on foreign oil and we could also be free from exorbitant CO2 emissions.

here are some photos of what i saw....

the engine open

the engine closed

a cut away

this explains the whole cycle, but you have to click on it to really get the gist of it.

later that day i was asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, because i had been shown things that were protected until the patent was obtained. well the patent is in hand and now i can talk about it. they are talking with some serious investors and are applying for a grant a NASA that will hopefully attract more attention and then more investors. apparently one of the criteria the judges use when scoring applications is how many views the concept got. please click on the link above in an effort not only to help tomicah but also to help us all have better engines.

the first paragraph looks like this:
Despite skyrocketing oil prices and mounting worldwide energy concerns, the vast majority of internal combustion engines we use for transportation and commerce run at approximately 25% efficiency. Current designs waste 75% of the fuel we pour into them. How to allocate energy resources among a rapidly expanding global consumer base is one of the defining challenges for this generation. Tendix LLC developed a new family of engines that promise to be part of the solution, dramatically enhancing fuel efficiency, effectively prolonging the viability of global petroleum reserves and significantly reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

check it out, and then please pass it on and put it on your own blog ... you know i love terracycle, but i think this has the potential to be way bigger than even worm poop: if you can believe that!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

reeling around my mind

many of you might think it is scary in here, but really it is just full of this

on continuous replay

Monday, October 8, 2007

biking in dc and the eastern shore

to say i've caught the cycling bug would be an understatement. i realized today that the reason i was feeling so yucky had nothing to do with my spider bite on my shoulder and everything to do with a lack of protein. i have ridden about 175 miles in the last week and a half and haven't really been monitoring my protein intake. this is a mistake for a pescatarian like myself. today i was wanting so badly to go on a ride, but just felt miserable and achy and then started craving chicken (chicken???!!!) . so i grabbed dianna, who also wasn't feeling good and we went to chicken out and pigged out on chicken. and i did feel better. though the truth is, i don't really like chicken.

dianna and i have been on some beautiful rides during this indian summer. here are a few photos...

preping for a ride to mount vernon

@ mt. vernon
dianna is talking to lindsay. this makes her ecstatic.

the river on the way home

on saturday, we decided to do a early morning ride on the eastern shore. i guess i was the only one who decided; dianna stalled all day. she later confessed that she really didn't want to go. at 4:pm we headed out for the eastern shore. at 5 we mounted our bikes for a 33 mile ride.

we had to take this ferry during our ride.
it was gorgeous and fun
but please note the angle and color of the sun light
we are smack dab in the middle of the ride at this point

we waited for about 20 minutes

the whole ferry thing took about 45 minutes. we didn't really pay attention to what we were doing and our cue sheet had us take a long detour into a quaint little town called st. michaels and then turn around. long story short we should have just gone straight back to the car from the ferry. we ended up riding in the pitch black night. there was no moon, no streetlights, and we didn't have reflectors, lights, or even bright clothing. it was a harrowing ride. dianna and i couldn't see each other. cars couldn't see us. we couldn't see obstacles in our way. i am sure that God protected us on this ride. i cannot believe we didn't crash.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

hanging out with vint, toby, and truffle

my birthday weekend in norfolk, ct was a relaxation extravaganza. vint got dianna and i massages from the most gifted massage therapist, melanie. not only is she a heck of a massage therapist, she conceived and gave birth to triplets naturally. WHAT???!!!! now they are 8 and she has taught them to do massage and they have weekly spa nights. how awesome is that?

i found a frog!

everything i need to relax: water bottle with tea, laptop, new orange jacket,
and norfolk sunshine

dianna and vint. at one point he said to her: "that's an interesting way of wearing clothes." those of you who know how all sorts of dianna's undergarments can be showing at any one time can appreciate.

vint and his lovely, tho stinky, dogs took us on a couple of long walks. he entertained us with vietnam war stories of his work with the hmong in laos when he worked for the cia.

annie and vint told us toby pond would be warm and that we should bring our swimsuits.
we brought our swimsuits, but getting in the water was a real challenge.

debating a swim.
dianna and i decided that riding for 3 days straight might be enough.
lindsay finally got in.

the perfect stroke.
(we'll later discover that this is what the early stages of hypothermia look like)

babushka! freezing to death!

vint offered to take us for a spin in chichibu, a 1931 model a. it belonged to his grandparents who took it to tour japan on a boat named chichibu maru (or something)
the engine wouldn't start, so we pushed chichibu out of the garage to get it rolling.

lindsay riding shotgun in chichibu. vint furiously trying to get the engine started.

well. we rolled all the way down windrow road and the car never turned on.
we towed it to a garage rather than push it back up the hill.

tying chichibu up to the truck.

we're clearly not much help here.
but are having the time of our lives!

i drove chichibu behind the tow. it was scary! the car is super old, rare and priceless!

the garage where chichibu will spend the winter.

with chichibu out, vint still wanted to show us the gorgeous forest that his family holds in a perpetual trust. it was so beautiful.

they all used to make maple syrup from the maple trees in the forest, but with climate change, the maple trees that produce syrup don't grow here anymore.

this is the sort of thing that keeps me up at night.

vint giving us a lesson in botany.
the difference between hemlock and queen anne's lace.
firs, maples, and more trees.

we were driving out of the forest when lindsay "eagle eyes" workman saw these two porcupines.
she is now enlisted to join me on my next safari
seeing thru the bush is the most valuable of all safari skills.

this is the road that we traveled thru the forest.
reminds me of what the road less traveled might have looked like

on the way home, dianna and i drove a little out of the way to travel down some of the roads we'd biked up a few days earlier. it was ALL uphill!!!

i took this picture because i'm a total nerd and love to know about fish in the rivers.
and for my friend mike.
but i kept seeing these and thinking i might have found mike's heaven.
biking through fly fishing spots

lindsay flew out from hartford the day before so she could get back to work. dianna and i drove the car, our bikes, and all the goodies that vint gave us back to washington. vint's goodies included tomatoes, raspberries, homemade apple cider, and sport-tea. we stopped on the side of the road and picked up wild little tiny apples. they are SO good. we ate some tonight. nice and tart!

on the long drive home, we listened to annie's book naked in baghdad on tape. she is an awesome storyteller, and lanneedelamusement officially endoreses the book. it is creepy how spot on the iraqis were about how this war would turn out. it REALLY makes you think about what why we should have known better BEFORE invading. thanks for what you do annie!

thanks again annie and vint! you are lifesavers!!!!!