John Giezensomething's Blog (41)

If I had a shotgun... Snippets from Open Space, week of 6/22

The other day I sat in the boughs of a rather horizontal cottonwood, the only nearby source of shade in the middle of a rolling prairie, crunching a ripe apple. That was a good break. Later I saw a very yellow bumble bee land on a white larkspur, and the contrast between the white flowers and the yellow and black bumble bee was very cool.

The day before I found some fossil clamshells in a shale outcropping. I left them there, of course, but took a picture.

A few days… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on June 27, 2009 at 5:08pm — No Comments


Would you rather have the body and mind of a 20 year old for your entire adult life, but drop dead at the age of 60, or have life like it is now, where you might live to be 100, but will suffer a long, slow delcine of body and mind?

Added by John Giezensomething on March 15, 2009 at 2:31am — 2 Comments

Re: Eating less meat, part 2

I've noticed some themes in the dissenting comments on Hank's video. They mostly go like this:

1. "We can't stop eating meat because if we did the animals would overpopulate and we'd be overrun! Their soaring populations would surely cause a lot of environmental damage in itself, and then we'd have to shoot them anyway."

2. "PETA? Those people are crazy! I can't stand PETA, so I'm not going to give up meat."

3. "We can't cut back too much because people are designed to eat… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on March 7, 2009 at 7:58pm — No Comments

RE: Eating less meat part 1

This is part one of my response to Hank's video on eating less meat, which has sparked a lot of controversy in the comments, as mention of eating less meat always does.

Hank lists a lot of good reasons for eating less meat, the main point being that it is a grossly inefficient use of land, water, and food resources that is hurting the global environment. We waste vast amounts of scarce fresh water by growing food to feed livestock instead of humans, and by watering those food animals… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on March 7, 2009 at 6:30pm — No Comments

I HATE Colorado! (its flag, that is)

Something's been bothering me for quite a while, and it's this:

I'll say it -- I don't like Colorado's flag. Yes, the broad stripes of blue over white, the sun-like disk and color scheme overall are pleasing to the eye. Yet every time I see it I'm disapponted.

Honestly... A giant "C"? Colorado is home to mountains and plains, forest, prairie, desert and tundra. Wonders abound both geographical and biological. The Maroon Bells, the Front Range,… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on February 12, 2009 at 11:30pm — No Comments

Thoughts on President Obama

I'd be remiss if I didn't say anything about the fact that when I got up today there was a new president. And (it seems so far) a president totally different from the last one. It still hasn't really sunk in. The president of the U.S.A. is now someone who in his speeches regularly expresses concepts that are important to me, and who says he'll address them in exactly or almost exactly the same way I think they should be addressed. The 2000 election was the first in which I was old enough to… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on January 21, 2009 at 1:14am — 1 Comment

A deep time ago in Colorado

His sail warmed by the sun, the dimetrodon ambles nimbly among the arborescent horsetails on the sandy bank of a clear stream flowing out of the Ancestral Rockies. He pauses to dine on the carcass of a giant millipede, looking up to the canopy of the new forest as he gulps down chunks of flesh. The scaly, hundred-foot-tall poles of the lepidodendron trees are bare but for their leafy, bifurcated heads. A giant dragonfly buzzes loudly overhead, blotting the sun for an instant.

His… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on January 9, 2009 at 5:59pm — No Comments

I asked for a better deal. I got one.

I'd like to tell the world that I did something uncharacteristically bold today, something I've never done before. I bargained on the price of an item in a store and got a better than advertised deal. I went to the mall looking for a few presents, among them a multitool for my brother (don't tell him) and on the way to Eddie Bauer I stopped in Restoration Hardware, which has tables of neat looking little gadgets very similar to those at EB. I continued to EB and found the multitool I was… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on December 12, 2008 at 10:39pm — 1 Comment

My NaNo Wordle

There's nothing like completing NaNoWriMo. And now I present my work from last month in wordle form. What does a word cloud say about my work in progress? Well, you know there's a lot of fighting when words like "blood" and "screamed" are among the most common out of fifty thousand. Well, you can't have too much action, right?

title="Wordle: my work from nanowrimo">…

Added by John Giezensomething on December 2, 2008 at 10:30pm — No Comments

The increasingly romantic tale of Somali pirates (Or, the political situation in the Gulf of Aden)

Real pirates, of course, weren’t free-spirited, swashbuckling rogues with hearts of gold. They didn’t swing onto your man-o-war, grin irrepressibly as they humiliated the stuffy Admiral in a sword fight, and sweep his oppressed daughter off her feet all while making off with your gold, gunpowder and spices. No, they killed you and then took your things. Oppressed daughter? Raped, and then probably killed too. Modern pirates are also like that, except even scarier because now instead of dueling… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on November 21, 2008 at 6:00pm — No Comments

Election Night Observations


Wow! I didn't expect them to call it so early in the night. The last election took several days to figure out, didn't it? And the one before that took a few months. The only question now is, how much of a landslide was it? It doesn't seem too early to say, "A rather large landslide, actually." It was so slow all day long, and then it happened all at once.

Did anyone in Kenya or Indonesia celebrate the night of our last presidential election? Did anyone in… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on November 4, 2008 at 9:49pm — 1 Comment

Election eve jitters

I can't take it. I want it to be tomorrow already! The two year long, probably-most-important election of my life so far is finally about to reach it's culmination. Tomorrow I'll vote on a new president, senator, representative, and a whopping ten state amendments and four state referendums. It feels like Christmas eve, except with more excitement and anticipation -- sort of like Christmas eve when I was a little kid and just couldn't wait.

I'm voting for Obama because I think he… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on November 3, 2008 at 9:50pm — 2 Comments

Found notes 1

Given its proximity to an elementary school and a high school, it isn't unusual for me to find the occasional note in the field when I'm cleaning up. They get passed in class and then, somehow, they end up scattered along the trail or in the grass. Here's one from today.

Media: half of a blue "post it" note.

First side, in very light pencil, somewhat feminine lettering:

If If Luke asks

you out what

would you say?

Second side, in bold… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on October 24, 2008 at 9:47pm — No Comments

Any woman will do, right?

After all the noise McCain's made about Obama's supposed youth and inexperience, it would seem strange for him to choose someone who's three years younger than Obama and has far less experience than the Illinois senator, unless you consider one important fact: McCain's VP choice has two X chromosomes, while Obama's has only one. Yes, Sarah Palin is a woman. So if you were hoping to vote for Hillary and are feeling disappointed, you should vote for McCain instead, because any woman will do,… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on August 29, 2008 at 5:00pm — 3 Comments

The Olympics are over... What will we talk about?

Well... what should we talk about now? What should we watch? This was such a thrilling, chilling Olympics that I don't know what to do now that it's over. Then again, one more thrill of victory, one more agony of defeat, one more controversial ruling, and my head might explode. Also, I don't have an excuse to stay up so darn late on work nights anymore, and that's probably a good thing.

Added by John Giezensomething on August 25, 2008 at 9:04pm — No Comments

Aftermath of the prairie dog kill

A few weeks later, the field still looks pretty much the same from my house. Out the window, you wouldn't know that the prairie dogs are gone. The weeds in the former colony are still short and the prairie dog mounds still prominent. Based on other ghost colonies I've seen, the mounds can last for at least a few years. Closer up, there have been a few subtle vegetation changes since the prairie dogs were killed. There's a small patch of snow on the mountain blooming, and another of curly cup… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on August 23, 2008 at 11:08pm — 2 Comments

The city killed my prairie dogs today

My prairie dogs are all dead. When I got home from work, Whitney said she'd noticed on her walk that almost all of the holes were plugged up with dirt, and there was a dead prairie dog lying on the ground. Then I heard from my dad what I've always feared – there was a city truck and signs this morning that said “Westminster prairie dog management: Stay on path.”

It poured rain today, probably the biggest rain we've had this year. It would have been so nice, but once I learned that,… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on August 6, 2008 at 10:00pm — 2 Comments

Powerbar: just try to eat it.

A few days ago I dared myself to purchase a chocolate Powerbar, wondering if it's still the same extrusion of nearly inedible tar that I remember from my childhood. Having eaten it, I'm happy to report that it's both more chocolaty and easier to chew than I recall, although I would still describe the texture and flavor as detestable and chewing it made my jaw cramp up. Maybe someday they'll come up with an energy bar that actually tastes good, and it will be called Cliffbar. Until then, I'll… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on August 1, 2008 at 3:14pm — 4 Comments

A solar power idea

Have you ever stepped out onto the street barefoot in summer and had your feet scalded? The road is hot! Roads aren't very wide, but they are very long, and the fact that the sun's beating down on all that developed surface area every day gave me an idea -- why not build a very tall canopy over the road, open on the sides and supported at intervals by posts that would double as street lamps, and cover the top with solar panels? The canopy could be shaped to maximize efficiency for the panels on… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on July 19, 2008 at 2:03am — 4 Comments

How we can beat weeds

A method occured to me the other day about how we could actually win the battle against weeds (and other invasive species) if we really wanted to. All we have to do is restructure our economy, so that instead of being built to serve humans, the economy is focused on serving nature. Then IPM would be a major industry, employing tens of thousands of people in the Denver area alone, and instead of a few small weed crews watching in frustration as weeds take over even as they battle valiantly to… Continue

Added by John Giezensomething on July 19, 2008 at 1:19am — No Comments

Youtube Links!

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