Complex Electrical Grids

Thursday, May 31, 2012 

Sometimes it isn’t so surprising that the grid is unreliable, but that it works at all.

Overhead wires create complicated nests in Basra, Iraq.
Posted at 07:09:51 GMT-0700

Category: GeopostphotoPlacesTravel

Robin’s yellow pickup circa 1985

Tuesday, May 29, 2012 

An high school friend of mine asked if I had any pictures of our old Turbo Pinto, and alas, I do not think I do. But I did remember some pictures of the even more entertaining conversion of Raab’s (he was into Saabs at the time) pickup truck into the super sport truck pictured here. The black and red details I remember painting, but I think it came yellow, Rob’s favorite color for cars due, I believe, to some line in a song that went “inside the walls of the citadel, yellow chariots race.”

Ah yes, classic brain sludge.

I fabricated that roll bar at Greg Leavit’s place and welded it into Rob’s truck for him after his mom worried that these particular vehicles were prone to roll-over accidents and tended to smoosh the occupants as the cab wasn’t particularly well reinforced. Back then, light trucks were considered work vehicles and didn’t have to meet car safety standards.

Rob’s mom’s fears turned out to be well-founded when Rob rolled the truck into a ditch in a late-night end-of-school-year drive home from college. He was fine, but the truck was totaled and lives now, only in our memories (to quote another movie favorite of ours from the era).



Posted at 07:22:39 GMT-0700

Category: FabricationGeopostphoto

Giant Bird of Paradise Blooms Again

Sunday, May 27, 2012 

It hasn’t bloomed often, but it is pretty when it does.


Posted at 18:23:11 GMT-0700

Category: EventsGeopostphoto

Amman, Petra, and the Dead Sea

Friday, May 25, 2012 

Amman is a very cool city with a strong European flair, but an Arab sensibility. There is great food to be had easily and a lively cultural and social life. It is also near one of the seven wonders of the world: Petra, which is one of those cultural destinations that is really worth the trip.

The city is very close to the relaxing aqueous solution that is the Dead Sea. Just don’t get the liquid in your eyes. It is about 31.5% salt so while it looks like water it does not feel like water, neither in consistency (oddly viscous feeling) nor in resultant buoyancy (bizarrely high). As with all unusual natural waters in the world, it is believed to possess semi-supernatural healing powers.

Posted at 11:43:48 GMT-0700

Category: GeopostphotoPlacesTravel

Sad iPod

Saturday, May 19, 2012 

Looks like after almost 10 years the iPod Carolyn handed down to me has finally died. It was giving me disk errors and working very slowly on the plane ride here and since I think the disk has locked up. While I <3 rotating media, it may be time for something a bit more compact in the carry around device space. It will be interesting to see if flash media can last 10 years (though it will degrade by progressively losing capacity and performance, rather than physically locking up).

Fortunately I only buy physical CDs and never, ever download defective by design craptastic DRM files from iTunes, so at least I didn’t lose the keys to my own data with the device failure.

Sad iPod.jpg
Posted at 23:22:47 GMT-0700

Category: MediaphotoTechnology

Lunch Came With Teeth

Thursday, May 17, 2012 

Nom nom. Very good.

A nice meal in Basra.
Posted at 11:54:23 GMT-0700

Category: PlacesPositiveRestaurantsReviews

Iraqi Ice Cream

Thursday, May 17, 2012 

Osama got me an ice cream on our way to start the day’s work. Perfect on a 120F day.

Iraqi Ice Cream.jpg
Posted at 09:30:36 GMT-0700

Category: photoPlacesRestaurants

Visitors in Basra

Wednesday, May 16, 2012 

A friendly kitty and a shy gecko.

A cute kitty sitting in our garden in Basra

A gecko that took up residence in our bathroom in Basra to help control any stray insects.
Posted at 17:42:03 GMT-0700

Category: CatsphotoPlaces

Lightning Strikes in Basra

Friday, May 11, 2012 

Cool storm last night.


Posted at 10:48:22 GMT-0700

Category: GeopostphotoWeather


Friday, May 11, 2012 

New experience today – 129+°F Wikipedia says the highest temperature recorded in Basra was 52°C. Now the car was driving over a sunlit road, so it was recording a higher temperature than you would see over shaded ground, but it is only May.

Our vehicle shows 54°C on a may day in Basra, Iraq.

Summer is going to be fun.

Posted at 09:42:05 GMT-0700

Category: GeopostphotoTravelWeather