Saturday, March 31, 2007

Well, ain't that a sight

And a wonderful new way to see the Grand Canyon. What you see above is a glass-walled, glass-floored, skywalk that cost $30 million and has been described a truly spiritual event. Opening earlier this week, the Grand Canyon Skywalk on the Hualapai Indian Reservation is a horsehoe-shaped walkway protruding seventy feet out into nothingness, at rest 4000 feet above the Colorado River at the bottom of the canyon.

This is magnificent marriage between natural and engineered wonder, and is certainly something to behold. Amazed as I am, I'm don't really know what to think about it all. I lean towards thinking that it gives the viewer an experience unlike any other in the world (which is true). Certainly the Washington Monument, Gateway over St Louis, and Eiffel Tower provide such an experience. These also evoke great pride as public art that embodies the character of a region. I hope the Grand Canyon Skyway in time may prove to be such an experience.

At the present time, however, there is much concern over the skyway and its construction at what is undoubtedly America's most treasured park. Many consider the skyway tantamount to defacing this national treasure. The Hualapai, who possess this portion of the national park as part of their reservation, say that it will enhance the visitor's experience in a positive way. I would like to agree, but these comments lead me to think other thoughts:

Tribal officials say the development, which may eventually include hotels, restaurants and a golf course, is the best way to address the social ills of a small reservation, where the 2,000 residents struggle with a 50% unemployment rate and widespread alcoholism and poverty.

When I visit a zoo I have mixed feelings of amazement at the animals I see and great discontent that these animals, especially the majestic predatory cats, are bottled up in concrete and steel gates. I'm worried that I'll view the skywalk with similar remorse if I see it up close and personal.

Jen says I'm worried you'll crap your pants if you see the skywalk up close and personal. That may be.

Friday, March 30, 2007

This is Re-Stinking-Diculous

I keep hearing adverts on the xm radio for this product, which claims to be for entertainment purposes only, though I don't think that's true. Take a look and tell me what you think.

Certainly I can think of better ways to waste $24.95. Well, even if it's not a better way, it isn't any worse. Probably the office workers using this "service" are the same people who purchased papers for English class. Here is one for free.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

My four favorite places in the United States

This is not a comprehensive list (in that I have not been everywhere in the US), but these four places are beyond excellent and I recommend them highly. Thank you, Jen for remembering the Spruce Goose and our late night visit to the very large windows of a museum.

1. Redwood National Park

2. Maine

3. Grand Canyon National Park

4. Boston, Matt

There is a lot of North America left to visit, including Charleston and Montreal, but these four places I must someday see: Christchurch, Helsinki, London, Munich. Maybe Jen will take me to these places.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

What is written on the bathroom walls

should usually not be read, but sometimes you must take notice. Like when the light switch plate reads turn on if needs beside the vent switch. (Certainly funnier if it were marked such beside the light switch itself, but still funny if not a little too suggestive.) This little bit of humor was compounded remarkably with the Employees must wash and dry their hands before returning to work placard on the door. And the irony was too great for me to contain when I noticed the Dial Complete foam soap claimed both Hospital Strength and Milder Than Ever!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I too have trouble counting to five

It would be a great mistake to pretend that I know anything to say about art, except that i like Edward Hopper and even then that I no have no memory of which Hopper it is I have actually seen (though Catherine rejected seeing it for free, I remember), but I hope you'll enjoy this short list of my five or six favorite aviation photographs (it'll be the only top five list I'll be posting today).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Carl Jung for fun, or when bored

Not really sure what that means above, but I'm sure a good psychiatrist could help me. Do you know any? In the meantime (by which I mean, during the rest of my life until someone figures out what's wrong with me) I very much like Jung's personality typology, especially the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test. (I also really like the word especially.)

Though someone with more specific vocabulary can correct me, the purpose MBTI is to indicate which Jungian personality (or psychological) preferences are dominant, auxiliary, etc, in how you perceive and interact with the world. Though the words and definitions can be a little confusing, the test describes your personality as one of 16 distinct types based on how you interact among the psychological functions. Cherish was much relieved to find out that being ESFJ (extoverted-sensing-feeling-judging) meant less that she judged others by what she sensed and felt and more that her personality was very similar to Monica's.

Of course, this is all important to me because I'm an INTJ, which means that I'm less interested in you than both Cherish and my INFP wife because really I'm interested in patterns. And I probably could have told you that, but well... many INTJs do not readily grasp the social rituals; for instance, they tend to have little patience and less understanding of such things as small talk and flirtation (which most types consider half the fun of a relationship). To complicate matters, INTJs are usually extremely private people, and can often be naturally impassive as well, which makes them easy to misread and misunderstand. Perhaps the most fundamental problem, however, is that INTJs really want people to make sense.

Probably the strongest INTJ assets in the interpersonal area
[by which the writer means, the only] are their intuitive abilities and their willingness to "work at" a relationship. Although as Ts they do not always have the kind of natural empathy that many Fs do, the Intuitive function can often act as a good substitute by synthesizing the probable meanings behind such things as tone of voice, turn of phrase, and facial expression. This ability can then be honed and directed by consistent, repeated efforts to understand and support those they care about, and those relationships which ultimately do become established with an INTJ tend to be characterized by their robustness, stability, and good communications.

So does that mean that if I don't really care much for you, at least I try hard? I don't know. One thing I was interested to learn was that Jen's personality (INFP) plays the advisor role to my personality, and vice versa (each having an area of insight that the other lacks). Probably we already knew that, but it was interesting to read (for me at least. Jen, who is concerned with the real world and the people therein might care less.)

Certainly there are flaws and shortcomings to such a psychological approach. One is that there are more than 16 personalities in the world, though the combinations of personal preference you exhibit will likely fit you pretty well. Another is that you express different parts of your personality at different times and in different circumstances. I think that you might contain all parts of personality but the others are underdeveloped or latent (but those may be Freud's words and not Jungs, and Freud and Jung were not friends--something to do with Freud's mother, I think?)

I don't know. Anyway, take this quick test and see how you fit (or tell me what is your type if you already know). Then see what your personality type means, and see what that means to you. Then tell me, so I can put you on my friend grid. (I don't really have a friend grid, at least not physically. Mentally and emotionally, maybe.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Spoken by a phone-toting lady in Target

to a noisy child, most likely 6-12 months old, Boy, can't you see I'm on the phone!?!

Friday, March 09, 2007

Seen on the marquis of a prominent church

on Texas street, the title of this week's sermon: How to be humble like Jesus.

Isn't that just a little silly?

Saturday, March 03, 2007

All work and no play

makes Jack a dull boy. Too bad Jack didn't have a macbook.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Update to the Microsoft-Google ware-war

Watching Google Inc. rake in advertising revenue was a wake-up call within Microsoft

But Microsoft has yet to offer a cohesive package of programs that run over the Internet instead of from a PC. Ozzie gave little indication of what might be coming, or when. Meanwhile, Google has expanded beyond searches to offer free, Web-based programs similar to Microsoft's mainstays, Word and Excel.

There is a sea change going on in the industry. If the boat gets rocked, the sailors get wet. If it gets rocked too hard then some people fall overboard.