Sunday, March 28, 2010

New bicycle map of Bellingham, WA.

Image, along Fraser St. Better alternative than Lakeway for bicycling.

I have redone my bicycle map of Bellingham. It links to a customized Google map.

Yes, Google now has bicycle maps! Maps for some areas at least.

I used the Google map, but then created a "customized version" of it. Google does most of the map, but I added my own notes and pictures. My notes come up in bubbles on the map.

Choices are available for getting directions on Google Maps. Where the data is available, one can select by car, by public transit, walking and bicycling.

One can plan a trip, but I discovered that if you just put a city name in the destination box, with no trip planned, the city map comes up. Choose bicycling and the bicycle map comes up for any city where data is available.

I just imported the Google bicycling map for Bellingham to "my maps." Then I added notes and pictures. It's now available on my site and may also come up in some map searches over time.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

School's out one day because of good weather

When Bellingham Christian School took a day off because of good weather, it made national news. I even heard something about it on NPR.

Opposite idea from having school run all summer and no summer vacation. A day off can be useful from time to time. Change from the routine for other kinds of learning. Time for friends and family, time for even resting. In the case of summer vacation, it's often time for travel.

I heard about a school, somewhere in USA taking a day off to see the sun when I was in grade school. That school was in a place with lots of clouds; similar to Bellingham. Good to hear of it happening again, this time in the town I live in; often cloudy Bellingham.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

At Big Rock Sculpture Garden

Untitled, by Pat Kuehnel.

Commemorating the US. solders who saved many Korean children after the Korean War.

Some friends of mind had a leisurely picnic in Big Rock Garden Park. I biked up there and met them. It's hidden in a residential area off of Sylvan Street top of Alabama Hill. I rode up Barkley.

There are quite a few sculptures in the park.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Some of the Sebastian sculptures in Bellingham

Another one of 19 Sebastian sculptures temporarily on display around downtown Bellingham. This one in the lawn behind the library. Whatcom County Courthouse in background to the right.

While I'm out walking, here's another sculpture. Is it a giraffe or dinosaur? Probably a giraffe. Some would call building behind it a dinosaur, however. Many bland, square buildings came out of the 1980s. Civic Center Building was built as private offices in 1980. The county now has this building and is planning to move some of it's operations there, after renovating parts of it.

19 urban sculptures by "Sebastian," said to be Mexico’s most famous contemporary sculptor are on display in downtown Bellingham from February through October 2010. Sculptures are in town courtesy of the “Sebastian in Bellingham” Project.

They also make nice thumbnail images to spice up the gray type of my blog.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Paying China back

About the only way we can pay China back for all the goods it has sent us is to start shipping goods and services back to China.

Someone just forwarded an email to me about this impressive cargo ship called the Emma Maersk. Ship made in Denmark, but now part of shipping commerce across the Pacific.

Efficiency.

The Maersk can cross Pacific in about 5 days. It's 1302 feet long. Carries 15,000 containers full of products and only needs a crew of 13. Imagine, only 13.

A US aircraft carrier has a crew of 5,000, according to that email.

Then it says most of the containers go back to China empty. Yes, that email was about US jobs being outsourced.

I think, "maybe we can just sit back and let the 13 member crew bring us the goods while we go on welfare." Let China finance our government, which buying our debt basically does. And government is the largest consumer thus propping up US economy.

Maybe we have already paid off part of our debt to China and other world industrious powers.

Our military? Keeping the shipping lanes open including the Persian Gulf oil lanes to keep fueling the world economy.

Remember 5,000 crew to run an aircraft carrier and only 13 to run this huge cargo ship.

Also I hear industrial powers and think of the word industrious.

The industrious powers.

Work is good and being industrious is OK to a point, but things can get out of balance.

The way to pay China back is to start exporting our goods and services again.

Figure out how to lower our dollar, or something to balance world trade again.

Several connotations of obesity behind health care crisis

Obese corporate executive salaries in the health care industries.

Lifestyles leading to obesity among much of the general public increasing incidence of chronic disease.

An obese Congress mired in gridlock.

Out of control law suites and liability issues.

A president who is at least trying to sound the alarm, but even himself admits to sneaking in a cigarette now and then.

The post war baby boom "bulge in demographics" getting older. That's a bulge also.

Then there are the health care reform bills themselves. Heavy, thousands of pages and fine print. Could be good legislation, but large and obtuse are relevant adjectives.

You get the idea. Lots of things that aren't sustainable and need to be trimmed down, hopefully without too much pain.

Maybe pleasure trimming things down; like walking on a nice spring day if still possible.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Freight train passing through

Walking around town with my camera. Freight train passing through under Bay and Chestnut Streets. In background is smoldering remains of fire in Old Town. Image taken March 1 2010.