Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow In Portland

Snowed heavy today on the commute home. I passed alot of cars that were going to be sitting in traffic for a long time. It was supposed to rain after a little snow, but alot fell. I ride a mountain bike to work, knobby tires, and had no problem coming home. Of course, I grew up in Masssachusetts, so know how to drive in the snow. I had several cars spinning the wheels and sliding sideways in front of me. Scary. Was yelled at to stay in the bike lane. Buddy, I was in the bike lane, you couldn't see the lines because they were under the snow. That lady I drove around...She was in the bike lane. Later, in front of the police station! a guy blew a stop sign right in front of me. I rode up to him at the next intersection and told him that I saw him run that stop sign. He just stared through the window at me. My bike seat came apart on me and damn near goosed me, but I made it home safely. Still snowing!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My Auntie Nora

Nora Burke 1915 - 2009 HOLYOKE - Mrs. Nora (Lavelle) Burke, 93, formerly of 582 Pleasant Street, died at Mt. St. Vincent Care Center, Wednesday, December 23, 2009. She is the widow of John P. Burke (1990). Born in Mullaghroe, Belmullet, Co. Mayo, Ireland, December 29, 1915, she was the daughter of the late John and Ann (Barrett) Lavelle. Nora was educated in Ireland and she and John immigrated to Holyoke with their four children in 1950 where they resided for the rest of their years. Nora loved lively family gatherings, filled with music and laughter. Nora leaves two sons, Sean and his wife Rita of Amherst, Desmond of Holyoke, two daughters, Ann Lowe of Holyoke and Mary Hallahan and her husband Philip of Longmeadow. She also leaves her sister Annie Keane of Clogher, Belmullet, Ireland, sisters-in-law Sadie Sheridan of Belmullet, Delia Lavelle of England, and Mary Lavelle of Mullaghroe. Nora was predeceased by siblings Patrick, Anthony, and Bridget Rowan, of Ireland, Peter and Michael of England, and John, Mary Cadigan, and Catherine Geeleher of Holyoke. She was also predeceased by son-in-law Richard Lowe and daughter-in-law Shirley Burke of Holyoke. She leaves ten cherished grandchildren, Kelly Lowe O'Sullivan, Heather Lowe, Desmond, Erin and Anna Burke, Nick O'Connor, Jake Pawlowski, Conor Burke and Jennifer and Philip Hallahan. She leaves five great grandchildren with a sixth due in January. Nora also leaves many nieces, nephews and cousins both here and in Ireland. Nora's family wishes to extend thanks to the Mt. St. Vincent Care Center, especially the second floor staff, for their loving and compassionate care of their mother and grandmother. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mt. St. Vincent Resident Council Fund, 35 Holy Family Road, Holyoke, MA 01040, or Holy Cross Church, 23 Sycamore Street, Holyoke, MA 01040. The funeral will be Monday, December 28 from the James P. Hobert and Sons Funeral Home, 250 Suffolk Street, Holyoke, MA 01040, with mass at Holy Cross Church at 10am. Burial will follow at St. Jerome's Cemetery. Calling hours will be 2-6 pm Sunday, December 27.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Korean Food

Dinner at my favorite Korean Restaurant in Changchun, Yi Song Ting, One Lone Pine.

Roast Pork and Onions, Garlic, Green Peppers, Miso, Kim Chee, Lettuce, Spicy Daikon, Pickled Diakon, Potatoe Pancakes.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Not my Rep. but I like this

Subcommittee Chairman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL)

"What they won't tell you is unlike everybody in this room who has to go and take out an insurance policy to drive a car, they want Wall Street and Goldman Sachs to be able to drive our economy into the ground without paying a cent of insurance in case they act recklessly. And all we're saying as Democrats is: 'It's simple. If you wanna do business in America and you threaten the economic stability of our country, then you gotta pay into an insurance fund.' But lemme tell you. It's not the kind of insurance fund where you get into an accident and they take your car and they fix it and they kind of give it back to you new. No no. In our insurance fund, you know what happens? We chop up your car into pieces and sell it and then we pay back the fund with the pieces. That's our fund. Read the bill. It's a funeral fund. You guys love to talk about the death and death and death when it came to health care. Why don't you talk about our death panels now?"

Monday, December 7, 2009

Isaac Asimov

Great Essay, link from pharyngula.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Human Nature

"Indeed, it is in our biological nature, not our political institutions, that we should put our trust, our empathy is innate and cannot be changed or long suppressed. In fact, I’d argue that biology constitutes our greatest hope. One can only shudder at the thought that the humaneness of our societies would depend on the whims of politics, culture or religion.

Frans de Waal in another book published in October, “The Age of Empathy.” Dr. de Waal, a primatologist, has long studied the cooperative side of primate behavior and believes that aggression, which he has also studied, is often overrated as a human motivation.

“We’re preprogrammed to reach out,” Dr. de Waal writes. “Empathy is an automated response over which we have limited control.” The only people emotionally immune to another’s situation, he notes, are psychopaths.

(from nytimes)