Saturday, July 31, 2010

Two Minutes from August

Well, as I start typing this post it is exactly two minutes from August.

My project is going well... it's been an interesting and at times difficult summer - but most of the challenging things have been personal events that didn't have to do with my project. As my time in Pittsburgh nears its end (two weeks left!) I feel that I have a lot of neat ideas and good stuff to work with in the coming year. It's just a matter of organizing it, and next week presenting it to various people here before I go.

Although the nasty heat wave of early July has abated, it still has been hot at times. July was a month without a lot of rain, but with quite a bit of lightning, especially at night. Some of it was quite beautiful, as evidenced by the previous post and by these pictures.

28_july lightning 5
28_July Lightning 1
28_july lightning 2

It's been a good summer professionally, even though it was sometimes hard on a personal level. I look forward to applying some of my ideas but also being back home in Vermont with my friends and especially Becca...

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Heat and Thunderstorms

I knew I said I would doublepost everything on here also but honestly I haven't had the time or motivation to do that, so I really haven't. If you have to choose one blog to check, check the other one because I update it more.

It's been quite hot here. Last night there was a wicked line of thunderstorms to the north that made some really neat lightning but never made it to town.

Tonight there is another similar line of storms, but it is a bit closer and moving a bit faster. Perhaps this one will make it to Pittsburgh. In any event it looks like there will be more lightning to watch out my window.

Watching lightning and drinking a good cold beer is about all one could expect to do on a hot night like this.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Loss and Renewal

My grandfather passed away in late June. My uncle passed away just shortly before my grandfather.

My grandpa led a full life, and made a positive impact on so many family members and friends. He died at a respectable age of 88. My uncle likewise positively touched the lives of many, but he died too soon.

Both of them died of lung cancer. Please don't smoke. There is no way it is worth this.

I was especially heartbroken that my grandpa died before I was able to see him. I got plane tickets immediately when I heard that he was ill... but the cancer was already at an advanced stage and he was not able to fight it off for very long. Over the years I have traveled to many beautiful and amazing places with my grandma and grandpa, and I was sad that I did not get to see him before he left our lives this last time.

I still went to California to see my family. It was not a happy trip, but it was an important one.


On Saturday, an unusual light rain shower passed through downtown.

On Sunday my dad and I went up to our family cabin where we have shared many good times. A few years ago, a fire ripped through the whole area, killing many trees I have 'known' since I was very young, drastically altering the landscape, and almost destroying the cabin.


In some cases the fire was beneficial to the forest but in other cases it burned more hot than it naturally would, due to natural fires in the past being suppressed. There are whole areas of dead forest. There is also rebirth.

The number and variety of flowers is higher than I have ever seen this time of year.



There was also a lot of water. True, it was a snowy winter, but even during wet years I have never seen this much water this late in the year. Many of these creeks usually only run in the spring.




Both death and renewal were around us everywhere we looked. It is amazing to me that such destruction, and so much beauty and rebirth, can happen side by side.

Goodbye, Grandpa... I love you and I sure will miss you.

Sunday, July 04, 2010



I made several posts in the Slow Water blog this last week. I am lazy right now and don't want to repost all three of them so go check them out here.

Last weekend I went to Vermont to visit Becca. We were going to meet half way between Vermont and Pittsburgh but she was feeling sick so I went all the way to Vermont instead. (she is feeling better now.) Although it was a long drive, it was nice to be back in Vermont because I love Vermont!


I stared at the New York Thruway for a long time. Luckily i had a bunch of Car Talk and This Week In Science podcasts to listen to.


Apparently even the gas stations are nice in Vermont (I agree). Another nice thing about Vermont: Billboards aren't allowed, so this billboard was actually on the New York side of the border.




Vermont is so pretty!


This is a weird van from the drive. I thought of spicy barbecued oxygen, or the air that bison breathe. Of course, it was actually just a van from near Buffalo, New York.