Archive for May, 2007


The New Mower

May 23, 2007

Is global warming real? I think so.

Around here, we’re trying to do what we can to decrease our carbon footprint. Not as much as we could be but we’re definitely conscious of our energy usage.

And you know what? Even if global warming turns out to be the ‘Greatest Hoax ever Perpetrated against Mankind’, I still thinks it’s important to try and limit the energy you use. You’re saving money, lessening our dependence on foreign oil, and cutting down on CO2 emissions (you can see the layer of noxious, yellow smog hanging over Seattle on a bad day).

And if it’s real? Well then, Good Luck Kids!

All of that to get to this.


The new mower.

It takes 3 – 4 times longer to mow the yard than it did with the gas powered lawn mower. However, since a gas powered mower emits 10x+ the amount of CO2 as a automobile, for me, it’s worth the extra time to use the manual push mower. You even get some extra exercise out of the deal.

If you have a large yard, this is obviously not a solution for you. But that’s OK. I’ll use a push mower, you keep your gas powered mower. I know you can find another place around the house where you can save some energy.

Note: When I posted this, I incorrectly referred to exhaust as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). It is actually Carbon Monoxide (CO)


Big Butter Jesus

May 15, 2007

Have you seen the Big Butter Jesus?

It a 60 foot tall Jesus Statue in southern Ohio just north of……Well, I think the Heywood Banks song explains it better than I can.

Plenty of pictures on flickr


Indianapolis 500

May 15, 2007

If you’re from Indiana, there’s a good chance that the first thing that comes to mind when someone brings up the Month of May or Memorial Day, is the Indianapolis 500.

If you’ve never been, it’s one hell of a treat. The people watching is unparalleled and the first green lap is one of the most amazing things you can ever experience.

I try to go every year but rising airfares kept me away last year and it’s starting to look the same way this year. Also, both this year and last I was in the middle of a big project at work that limited the days I could take off. This year tickets have been $500 plus since I started looking about a month ago and now they’re up to $650 if you can find a seat. Here’s the current view of Southwest’s availability:


Next year I’ll have to adjust my budget and plan so I’m not sitting at home watching the race on TV. Unfortunately, I said the same damn thing last year.

The sting is lessened somewhat by the fact that for the first time, the race is being shown in HD.

Fortunately, the internet makes it a lot easier to be half a continent away. One of my the best websites for keeping up with all the gossip is The past few years it has featured great pictures and commentary from a gentleman that goes by the name Walter Zoomie. Here is this year’s edition.


Lazy Man’s Ale

May 9, 2007

Working late with little time for blogging.

Here’s the latest beer label.

Manny, Master Brewer, realized the beer needed to age a little longer to bring out some of the more subtle flavors. He wisely let it sit in the fermenter for a couple extra weeks.

Hence the name.

Lazy Man’s Red


David Foege

May 3, 2007

The Seattle PI story about the death of David Foege. Unfortunately, David took his own life. It was a complete surprise to all of his friends. Like all of us, he had his struggles but none of us would have ever guessed that things were so dark for him.

David Foege, 1962-2007: Vashon mourns teacher’s death


VASHON ISLAND — David Foege likely would have been surprised, and probably even slightly uneasy, at the outpouring of love, admiration and crushing sense of loss that have washed over this tight-knit island community following his death last week.

“If you knew David, or maybe even had a brief conversation with him, you felt like you had a special relationship with him,” said Stacy Carkonen, one of Foege’s close friends. “That’s just the way he affected people.”

Foege, 44, who had struggled with depression since he was a child, took his own life earlier this month.


Foege was a popular teacher at McMurray Middle School and the eldest son of the world-renowned public health pioneer, William Foege, who developed the global strategy that led to the eradication of smallpox. The younger Foege spent much of his childhood outside of the U.S., traveling with his family across Africa and India.

During his college days, he developed an interest in Russian history and enrolled at Leningrad State University — even though he spoke no Russian.

“That was typical of him,” said Bill Foege, his father. “He was insatiably curious with a real sense of adventure.”

Besides teaching social studies on Vashon for the past 15 years, Foege was an accomplished guitar player and instructor in outdoor survival skills. He and another teacher at McMurray, Terry Swift, were developing graphic novels aimed at introducing their students to history, culture and philosophy.

“David had this amazing wealth of knowledge and knew how to make it accessible to kids,” said Gates Johnson, a friend and another colleague at McMurray.

On April 20, Foege killed himself. Friends and family said he had been making plans for activities with others later that day and on the weekend so it was clearly not premeditated. Something incomprehensible had overwhelmed Foege, husband to Jennifer and father to Max, 9, and 22-month-old daughter Olyana.

“Depression took him,” said Bill Foege, now senior adviser to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“We talked about some dark stuff, but I didn’t realize he was in such pain,” Swift said. “And I was one of his best friends. He was a very private person, in many ways.”

For such a private person, however, Foege had a broad, public impact.

A memorial service held for him earlier this week at Vashon United Methodist Church attracted hundreds of people, so many that perhaps half of the attendees had to stand outside in the drizzle and listen to the ceremony on speakers. The ferries that afternoon were overloaded between Seattle and the island.

“It was incredible,” said Kimm Shride, a ferry system worker who, like many parents here, said Foege had transformed the educational experience for her child. “My daughter just loved Mr. Foege.”

Part of his success as a teacher, said his mother, Paula Foege, likely came from the fact that he had hated school as a boy. He struggled with dyslexia, she said, and also had a bit of the rebel streak in him.

“Yet when he was maybe 11 or 12 years old, he was reading a lot of the same books I was reading, like ‘Papillon’ or ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,’ ” she said. Her son was incredibly curious and open to new experiences or ideas, she said, but he didn’t much like the confines of the standard educational approach.

“David really knew how to listen to troubled kids,” Jennifer Foege said. “He wouldn’t coddle anybody, but he really listened to them. It made a big difference.”

Foege’s younger brothers, Michael and Robert, say their older brother decided at an early age that he would settle in the Seattle area, largely because he loved the outdoors. Robert Foege remembered coming to visit him after he bought a “shack” on Vashon that had no running water — and a rat problem.

“Even his dog was afraid of those rats,” Robert Foege said. “That was quite a place.”

Michael Foege, who works in construction with his brother in Atlanta, looks an awful lot like his older brother. When he came to visit David, he was often mistaken for the well-known teacher and would sometimes play along.

“I once left a bar tab for him to pay,” Michael Foege said, chuckling. He recalled when they were both boys living in India. While their father played a critical role in the public health fight against smallpox, they were out looking for pranks to pull on the crazy streets of New Delhi.

“We’d put cherry bombs in the cow pies and then run like mad,” Michael Foege said.

Daryl Redeker, a Vashon musician who played with Foege and also sang at his service, said his friend was widely appreciated on the island for his kindness, humor and empathy.

Redeker, who also suffers from depression, said Foege once probably saved his life by taking him to the hospital for treatment during a deep, dark period.

“I wonder if he was able to listen to other people’s problems more than he could listen to his own,” he said. “You could talk to David about anything. He made you feel safe, and he had this killer laugh, man. I’ve never met anybody like him … and I’ll never be the same around anybody else.”

Students at McMurray are planning to plant a tree in memory of Foege.

The Foege family is establishing an educational fund for Vashon students and donations, for now, can be sent to the David Foege Fund at Vashon United Methodist Church, Box 330, Vashon, WA 98070.

P-I reporter Tom Paulson can be reached at 206-448-8318 or


New York City II

May 3, 2007

A Picture from the 9/11 Memorial

World Trade Center Memorial

Central Park, looking to the northwest. The building in the background is The San Remo. Bono lives in one of the towers, Demi Moore lives in the other.

Central Park

Musicians in Central Park.

Central Park Musicians

The John Lennon Memorial in Central Park


Looking south down 7th Ave towards Times Square

New York

Andy Warhol at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA)


And last but not least, the Statue of Liberty