Category Archives: Paul

Watch The Iceland Volcano Continue To Erupt

I’m only semi-functional tonight – it’s been a lot of days of work in a row, and there’s another big thing kicking off this week, so there are few neurons to spare.

But one thing that’s a great diversion for a few minutes here or there when I need a break is watching all of the videos from the volcanic eruption in southwest Iceland.

It started on March 19th, with a mid-sized eruption. Lots of lava, but no huge ash clouds like the eruption a few years back in northern Iceland that shut down air traffic to and from Europe for weeks. No toxic gas emissions that could kill whole towns or groups of nearby spectators and scientists, so the scientists and spectators came in droves.

Then, after a few weeks, a series of smaller fissures started opening up along a line to the northeast. Most of these petered out, but one cinder cone started growing and growing and has now become the main vent. For a while there were spectacular fountains of lava, but these have died down a little bit and been replaced with little surges of lava ever ten minutes or so. Every ten minutes or so 24/7 for weeks, and the valley that all of these vents are in has finally filled.

A couple weeks ago the valley overflowed down into a canyon and started filling up a small valley below, and some time in the last couple of days a second spot overflowed in a HUGE push and now that lower valley is threatening to overflow. Once that happens it’s only a half-mile or so down the hill to the ocean, cutting the Southern Ring Road in the process.

There are six or seven or so cameras set up, all streaming online 24/7. My favorite site is a combination of four screens, one with a map that’s updated every day, the other three cycling through five or six different cameras:

(Image: Tokolosh YouTube Channel)

There are lots of videos on YouTube showing time lapses and other great events through the whole twelve week event so far, with no end in sight.

Like the drones that keep flying over and suffering the consequences of density altitude:

THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

No, really… Be careful out there.

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No Context For You – June 03rd

Is everything going to fast?

Are we falling?

Or do I just have clumsy, fat thumbs?

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Don’t Think – It Can Only Hurt The Ball Club (Part Deux)

Good advice there. (From “Bull Durham” of course, when Crash first meets Nuke.)

Again, it always gets down to balance.

On the one hand, one can’t blindly blunder through life without two brain cells to rub together. (Well, one can … but then you’ll end up a US Representative from Georgia, or Florida, or Texas, or maybe even California.)

On the other hand, one can’t over analyze and micromanage every decision to the point where nothing ever gets done.

Balance.

And sometimes you just have to make your best guess and get your ass in gear.

I might have mentioned this a few times a year over the past 8+ years. The fact that I already have used the Bull Durham quote for a post at least once proves that. The fact that I love that movies so much would be another, but I digress.

I guess tonight’s the night to take another whack at our deceased equine friend.

Or, as I learned in high school (thanks, Kevin), “Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things!)”

Or as I learned from 80’s Los Angeles drivetime AM radio, “EGBOK! – Everything’s Gonna Be OK!” (Have I told that story here? That’s one of the better ones…)

June’s starting soon.

There are quests and adventures to be undertaken, fears to be faced down, monsters to be slain.

Dare Mighty Things.

Pick a gear. Any gear. Just get your ass moving.

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Fond Childhood Memories vs Brutal Adult Reality

I was digging way back in the cavernous depths of the back porch freezer today when I stumbled upon an ancient popsicle.

It was grape.

In one moment I was overwhelmed with the memories of the simple childhood joy of a grape popsicle on a hot day.

In the next I was being pummeled by the reality of being covered with sticky, purple goo – the carpet, my jeans, my shirt, my hands…

I almost got more of it ON me than I got IN me.

Which I now realize was also one of those fond childhood memories. If only I had a way to get hosed down by an adult before being allowed back into the house. 😔

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Nerd Dad Masterpiece

I’m a nerd.

I’m a dad.

I’m of a certain age.

Is it not a thing of beauty? Perfectly packed and arranged. 99.9999% full.

I don’t know if younger people, nerds or not, dad or not, take perfect loading of the dishwasher as a quest akin to that for The Holy Grail. For that matter, it might just be me, period.

Either way, I’m pretty good at the dishwasher packing zen, but this was clearly a standout effort last night. In fact, I just might have posted something like this before. (Eight+ years is a long time to keep track.)

Old. Dad. Certain age…

Oh, and did I mention that I was “easily amused?”

It explains so much.

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Happy 8th Birthday, WLTSTF!

8 years.

2,921 days.

3,014 posts.

7,111 images. (About 90% are taken by me. The rest are images from the news, from cell phone screen captures, and so on.)

62 videos.

7 audio clips.

2.6K comments.

And despite the pandemic and lockdown and quarantine (or possibly because of it) I’m now getting these “You’re on a 384-day streak on We Love The Stars Too Fondly!” notices every day on the app.

No pressure…

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Earth Day 2021

Earth Day – let’s hope we’re actually waking up to the danger we’re in regarding human-related climate change.

On my secondary computer’s monitors I often have some sort of video running as background if I’m not using the system at the moment. Today was an Earth Day theme, although not intentionally. But at one point I looked at it and realized that my subconscious had set it up that way.

On the left, a map and three camera angles on the Geldingadalir and Langhoil volcanoes erupting for the several weeks in Iceland. Showing the raw power that the Earth can display.

On the right, the Cornell Lab FeederWatch Cam at Sapsucker Woods shows us the animal kingdom (grackle in the tray, a downy woodpecker just leaving the suet feeder in the center, and a couple of redwing blackbirds hanging off the feeder on the right) and the beauty of the lakes and woods coming to life after a long winter.

As much as I dream of leaving the Earth, and as much as I hope to see the day when people live on the moon, Mars, an asteroid, or a large space habitat, I also understand that for the moment, the Earth is the only game in town. It’s a spectacular place. Enjoy it. Appreciate it. Share it.

 

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No Context For You – April 16th

No, I wasn’t even 10% as happy as I looked, and I didn’t look happy.

It’s been a tough week – let’s hope for a better weekend.

Oh, I’ve got WHAT on my schedule for this weekend?

Shit.

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The Light & The Tunnel

We like the metaphor “the light at the end of the tunnel,” especially these days when the entire freaking world has been going through years of various levels of hell.

Thinking about that tonight, it occurs to me that a problem with that particular metaphor is that we assume we know where the end of the tunnel is.

We don’t.

We see some light and we’ve been in the dark for a long time. So in our need for hope, in our desperate grasping for straws, we assume without data that the end of the proverbial tunnel must be near! Right?

But we don’t know how far it is, how fast we’re going, or even if there might be other side tunnels that we get sidetracked down before we get to exit the tunnel.

And when we start thinking about that, and start thinking about how long we might still have to go before we get out, and that some of us won’t ever make it out but will fall here without ever seeing that light…

But we keep going, even if we’re not particularly happy about it. As Frost said, “The only way out is through.” (I might have quoted that more than just a few times here in the past. It keeps getting more and more true.)

And the only way to make it better in the long run is to get out and then hunt down the bastards that built the tunnel and trapped us in it. And make sure that they never do it again.


How was your day?

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No Context For You – April 02nd

My teeth and gums and tongue and cheek all hurt again after Wednesday’s visit to the dentist.

It’s not as bad as it was Wednesday evening when the Novocain wore off. But what’s weird is how it felt fine yesterday. What’s even more weird is that the side that she worked on four weeks ago is the side that hurts more now than the side she worked on two days ago.

Plus, my tongue and the inside of my cheek is sore from being bitten and nicked while I had no control of pain feedback while all numbed up. On top of all of that, the side of my mouth (is there a technical, anatomical term for that that I’m too spacy to think of right now? the spots at the far left and right where the lower and upper lips meet?) is raw from having them yanking on it all day on Wednesday to get at the spots way in the back that they needed to reach.

Now I know how largemouth bass feel when they’re being reeled in.

What are you looking forward to doing this weekend?

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