Saturday, March 31, 2007

Peaceful Warrior

I've seen the new movie The Peaceful Warrior twice in 2 days now. My guess is that most reviewers won't care for it because most of the conflict is internal. There is a fairly dramatic car/motorcycle intersection, but any physical action between men and women is understated by today's standard. I'm really surprised it has a PG-13 rating rather than just PG.

I enjoyed it a lot, but I'm into the stuff they're talking about, although I'm much better at reading about it than practicing it. On the visual level, watching high-quality male gymnasts is always pleasant :-) I'm also old enough to see some of the physical cycles. Twenty or 25 years ago, the lead character, Dan, would've been played by Tom Cruise, and his chief physical rival, Trevor, by Val Kilmer. The current actors reminded me much of Cruise and Kilmer in face structure and coloring.

I haven't read Dan Millman's books yet, but this movie will probably work for many people who are fans of Eckhart Tolle and other "new age" authors who believe we will benefit greatly by turning off the mind chatter and spending a lot more time in the present moment.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Equinox Editing

Sorry, I'm trying desperately for alliteration in this title. If you can come up with a better (more appropriate for the ultimate topic), please drop it into the comments.

Today's edit: my hair. I spent two or three years growing my hair out to shoulder length. It was a nasty, shapeless shoulder length, but it was long enough to pull into a respectable ponytail. My hair is very fine but has some natural wave. The fineness means that only the last several inches can sustain wave without the weight of subsequent hair pulling it flat to my head. The wave is also very humidity-dependent, so I could go from pretty straight hair to wild frizz and back in a few hours if I went from inside the forced-air-heated house to the perpetual winter mist/drizzle and back.

As of this afternoon, I have much less hair and much more shape to it. I'm very happy! I look forward to the first hair wash and feeling how little hair is there. Must remember to use less shampoo! I have bangs, I have layers, I have wave and body. Ahh.

Of course, the outside temperature stayed in the 40s all day, so my neck is cold.

I just warned Ms. Fluff that she might be the next one to get a new spring 'do. She definitely needs a bath, and there is always trimming to be done. The girl is part hobbit -- she has the hairiest feet, for a breed who nominally has short hair on the feet.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

No Wonder

I thought we were having an awfully long gray spell. According to, the last day we had completely free of rain was February 5. We only had a trace on Feb. 6 and 17, but we've had measurable accumulations every other day since the 5th, with another week of rain forecasted!

I think rain and 42 degrees F (502 Kelvin, if I remember correctly -- that sounds warmer!) can be colder than snow and 30 degrees F. Oh well. Despite their geriatric status, the troops wish to go out for a walk. Who am I to deny them? Off we go!

Update: we're back, and I checked Weather Underground again. Despite having only 3 rain-free days in February, we had almost an inch less rain than an average February! We only had 3.97 inches instead of 4.86.

I started thinking about our rainfall on the walk (since it was raining at the time). We have about the same yearly rainfall as most of the places I've lived in the east and midwest. Like those places, we have about 30-36 inches of rain a year. Let's call it 36"/year or averaging 3 inches per month. That doesn't sound too bad: an average of about 0.1 inches per day, so you expect a lot of days of sun and a few of rain.

West of the Cascades, though, we have some very dry months. Typically we have very little rain in July (at least, after the often damp July 4 holiday!), August, and at least the first half of September. When I say "very little", I'm talking about maybe half an inch during that entire time period.

Let's continue on our very crude calculations. If you round it so we have 3 months with 0 rainfall, that means we have 9 months in which to fit our 36 inches of annual rainfall, or 9 months averaging 4 inches per month. We've just increased the month rainfall by one third. This is when things start to get tough to take. Our winter months actually tend more toward 5 or 6 inches of rain per month beginning in late November and running through February or March. We get about two thirds of our rain in one third of the year.

The other factor is that nearly all of this is rain, not snow. Rain absorbs light, snow reflects it. Four months of clouds and light-absorbing puddles can get to many of us.

On the bright side, the pussy willows are starting to come out, and many of the daffodils are above ground though perhaps not quite blooming yet.