Fahrenheit 9/11

I saw Fahrenheit 9/11 last Saturday, and was simultaneously pleased and annoyed that every showing had sold out since opening here in Seattle on Friday. The annoyance stemmed from our slightly late arrival which meant we were forced to sit in the front row. (I have rather small spectacles and had to tilt my head at an odd angle in order to see the entire screen.) But I was also pleased, because this film deserves to do well. It needed to be released, and I’m overjoyed that Moore was able to circumvent the blocks Disney had placed in front of him. Fahrenheit 9/11 is important not because it’s 100% factual or nonbiased — and it’s neither of those things — but because it helps keep the discourse alive. The more Americans think and talk about the atrocious policies put in place by the CEOs leading our executive branch, the greater the likelihood that we’ll all come to our senses and kick the bastards out onto the cold wet November sidewalk. And the beautiful thing is that people don’t even need to watch the movie to feel its effect. I believe that the media coverage, the movie trailers we all see on television, and the social chit-chat resulting from this movie’s release will not allow anyone to avoid at least considering the issues Moore raises. Moore knows this and it is part of his strategy. So, for once, the mass-marketization of our country is being used for purposes of Good rather than of Evil.

Microsoft Security Summit West, Day 2

Below is another extended text summarizing the talks from the second and last day of the Summit. Some interesting stuff here, to be sure. Unfortunately I was compelled to sign an NDA before the most interesting talk of all, so my notes from that one are not included. It may come later if I remember in a few months.

I took home a somewhat surprising impression of many of the Microsoft employees presenting the material. They seemed unabashedly humble at times, saying things like “We really don’t have any idea what the best way to do this is.” It was almost as though they were admitting that they’re learning how to write operating systems as they go. Perhaps that’s why Longhorn’s release is still so far out on the horizon. Anyway, I found this candidness oddly charming and really appreciated it.

Continue reading Microsoft Security Summit West, Day 2

Mt. Baker – Snoqualmie National Park

To view photos I took on Memorial Day, 2004, along the Number 22 Lake trail, click here.

You’ll find the trailhead along the Mountain Loop. The lake itself is the obvious star of this trail. It’s a glacier-carved lake about 50 feet deep and surrounded on three sides by steep cliffs. In spring, these cliffs are dotted with small waterfalls of snowmelt which feed the lake and in turn the creek. Apparently, this area of land was set aside during the 1920’s for research. Back then a large amount of logging was taking place in this area of the Cascades, and it seems that people were beginning to worry about its effects on wildlife and water sources. So the imaginatively-named Number 22 Lake was reserved for study, along with a swath of land below the lake containing old-growth forest, the Number 22 Creek, and a large talus. (Sidebar: a talus is an area of a mountainside that has been covered with a layer of rock debris. Now we both know.) These days it is quite heavily traveled but still offers amazing scenery.

Length: 2.7 miles each way
Difficulty: moderate
Elevation gain: 1500 feet
Ending elevation: 2500 feet
Journey time: about 3 hours