The (University of) Oregon Trail: Weekend Adventure & Roundup

1. Heading up to Eugene, OR, for the graduation of my sister’s younger daughter. Not sure what her degree is in, but she’s planning on going into Phrenology, as far as I can tell, so has a bunch of post graduate work ahead of her. I’ve given her a couple Feynman books over the years, but I don’t think they took. But she’s sweet and beautiful and full of vim, so the future looks bright.

I’m kind of the black sheep in my family, in that, out of 8 surviving children, I’m the only practicing Catholic and have that rabid anti-school thing working. Nobody else reads much, either, with the possible exception of my Marxist brother. So, we just don’t talk about anything except sports and maybe music.  The last time politics came up, it didn’t come up for long. So, the net effect is that my 6 nieces and nephews have spent no time hanging out with crazy Uncle Joe since they’ve been old enough to benefit from it. We might play a little music together, have some dinner, but nothing real gets talked about.

I suppose it could be worse. Heck, I know it could be much worse.

Willits, CA, a dangerously quaint little town on 101 right as you get out the redwoods and mountains.

2. On the way back, we’re going to visit Crater Lake, then head out to Crescent City on the coast to spend the night. Then, down the coast through the redwoods and Eureka and more redwoods, winding through some rugged mountains and out of Mendocino County into the north end of Sonoma Valley and a series of cute towns,* on past Santa Rosa and down into the Bay Area (or, as Herb Caen used to say: San Francisco and its suburbs).

We have enough time to not have to rush it, unlike the trip up.

3. The last major university graduation I attended was at Cal about 20 years ago. English Department. Two young women were honored for something, got to come to the podium and say a few words – they acted like complete asses. Glad I wasn’t their dad – although, as a California taxpayer, they were showing complete disrespect to taxpayer-funded gift they were getting honored for haven taken. But, having perused a few of the texts they used, idiot barbarians is what I should have expected.

2014 U of O won’t be like that. Please tell me it won’t. Don’t know if I could maintain control if it got that stupid. If they have to drag my heckling behind out of there, I’m guessing the family might upgrade me from ‘black sheep’ status to something a little more untouchable.

4. Huge Hidden Ocean Is Found Near Earth’s Core So, when do we start drilling? Words like ‘reservoir’ and ‘ocean’ seem to suggest we could just, you know, go get it. Except it is 400 miles below the earth’s surface, chemically locked into ringwoodite as hydroxide ions. So, maybe not. And the earth’s radius is about 3900 miles – so, like, 400 hundred miles down isn’t anywhere near the core.

But what does that matter when there’s eyeballs to hook and stuff to sell! Let’s not bicker about the headline writer’s rogue exuberance.

* While searching around for a quaint picture of Willits, came across the Tree Spirit Project, which evidently is trying to save the planet via having mostly flabby white people get naked in the woods and pose for photographs. Ah, California! Land of my birth! The connections between out of control narcissism getting naked in public and saving the forests/little fury varmints/the planet is one so sublime as to be imperceptible to lesser mortals. But it seems to be universally recognized by Whole Foods shoppers and crystal energized Bodhisattvas who no doubt walked the couple hundred miles up to Willits from Berkeley in sandals woven from organically grown hemp. Maybe it would all become clear with a little chakra adjustment and reflexology? Somebody needs somethin’ adjusted, that much is clear.

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Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

2 thoughts on “The (University of) Oregon Trail: Weekend Adventure & Roundup”

  1. Interesting as always. Mantle oceans with equal to three times the volume of our surface oceans. Shades of “fountains of the deep” from Genesis. Phrenology?? Better not discuss that subject knowing your (and TOF’s) fisking of fMRI findings. It seems the more technological and sciencey we get as a society the more we pine for arcane secrets to tap hidden potentials that will keep us ahead of the Jones in beauty, intellect, and spirituality. To study, pray, and take care of oneself is work. One could only exceed us in these areas if he had some arcane secret.

    1. There’s no doubt plenty of great things that can be learned through brain imaging – but it’s going to be learned (if it ever is) in little steps through a lot of boring, repetious and humble science. But, since we want – and have been conditioned to expect – magic, those who provide it get the honor. And the funding.

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