Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wanderers 2009.8.12

Keeping Simple

I'm writing this well after the fact, having joined Wanderers around 8 AM, finishing with lunch at a Thai food restaurant (I had Thai coffee only, not feeling flush enough to fork out -- plus why feed the fatty?).

Today was especially interesting because we had full fledged navigation charts spread out on the table. A number of us, me not included, are planning a sail boating adventure from Seattle to Astoria, taking about four days at sea. Barry, Jeff, Sam, Glenn, Don... lots of maritime knowledge between them, including about the specifics of the Strait of Juan De Fuca.

David Feinstein joined us later and earnestly suggested I don't forget spreadsheets as a part of this digital math track. Sure, a coding language like Python could be in the mix, but not at the expense of dropping out spreadsheets. I readily agreed (David gives me excellent advice, is one of those "smartest guy I know" types, Glenn too, though they've developed their respective intellects in different dimensions).

There's some spreadsheet program out of the UK coded in IronPython and using Python as the language for coding what goes on in the cells. That might be an ideal product to train on sometimes, even if one ends up using Excel on the job.

We had a really cool XX with us as well, new to our group, into teaching permaculture at her local grange, transitioning from landscaping to full scale farming. I reminded her to videotape her classes, which she appreciated, wrote it down.

Hey, congratulations Kym, on that Better Homes and Gardens article. You made it (anonymously) into some esoteric Wittgenstein-related post, as did the phone call from Steve Holden, PSF chairman. All in all, today was a really great day, not least because mom's knee is improving (the sudden change in barometric pressure affected her joints, I'm pretty sure).

I spent some time with TC again, at the rehab center, watching Keith Olbermann, then CBS News. Keith was scratching the surface regarding US-based suppliers of roadside bomb parts in Iraq, defending GE in the process. The town meetings about health care are on the surreal side. USAers are indulging in full throttle melodrama, giving in to apocalyptic paranoias. That's Protestants for ya.

Congrats to all those Medal of Freedom folks, including Archbishop Tutu, Sidney Poitier, Stephen Hawking, Ted Kennedy, other luminaries. This seemed quite the bumper crop of change agents, I agree with our president.