June 5th, 2009

Kevin and Lisa

A Tree Falls in Mehama

I still haven't processed the photographs, so you can't yet see what the tree looked like before the workers arrived, but I have uploaded the video I shot of the coup de grace of the workers falling the maple tree on Lisa's father's property:

After that, with the tree's branches chopped and chipped, the workers dumped the resultant debris into the "coal seam" disposal site on the property.


Oregon Wildlife

A couple of days ago, Lisa and I walked over to the park in Lyons and I took the camera. When I get a chance, I will post a series of photos, but for now, here are two videos from the park.

First, while starting to shoot video of a family of geese sitting on the shore of one of the ponds in the lake, Lisa pointed out that there was a beaver swimming around just beyond them, so I quickly changed focus:

I took other photos of the ducks, geese, and other wildlife and scenery in the ponds, including a couple that Lisa is anxious for me to post, but I need to get back to work because we need to leave early this afternoon if we're going to get out to Seaside at a decent hour. These are definitely beaver ponds, by the way -- there are several beaver ponds, and this section of the park actually has a sign marked "Beaver Addition." I'm glad this video turned out, because all of the still photos I shot of the beaver were "missed it by that much," taken as the beaver dove out of view.

Later, we walked around through the campsite area of John Day Park and I shot this video of the stretch of the North Santiam River that runs along the park. Keep in mind that this is less than a 2 km walk from our place in Mehama, although you would have a hard time telling so from the immediate surroundings here.

Lisa, listening to the rushing water here, sighed wistfully and said it almost drowns out the tone in her ear. She thinks she might come over here more often and sit and read, just to have some peace, if we can't find something to stop the noise.
Business Meeting

WSFS Time is Out of Joint

The WSFS Business Meeting is looking for a debate timekeeper. See the details if you are interested.

This opening has come up because the Secretary, Pat McMurray, has had to withdraw because he's not going to be able to attend Anticipation, and the existing Timekeeper, Jared Dashoff, has agreed to take his place.

Timekeeper was the first WSFS job I had, back in 1991. Ross Pavlac, who was chairing Chicon V's Business Meeting, had put a note in a progress report (no web sites in those days) advertising for a WSFS timekeeper. I braced him up at BayCon and asked if he'd be interested in having me on board. Keep in mind that in 1991, I was perhaps viewed by some as mostly a loudmouth and at worst as a menace. (Well, some things never change.)

Ross asked, "What's the number one thing a Timekeeper should have?"

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Timekeeper is not a tremendously difficult job, but it is one that requires you to concentrate and pay attention to what people are saying, and to also show a bit of judgment. For example, if I saw that one side of the debate was out of time, but the person speaking appeared to be winding up, I would usually give him/her a few extra seconds. If s/he fooled me and kept going, I would have to interrupt him/her with the bell. In addition, I tried to give a 30-seconds-left warning when appropriate, preferably without actually interrupting a speaker.

Anyway, if you're interested, contact me.
Cheryl 2

Free Speech Has Consequences

I don't have time to go into the full story now, but see Cheryl's post and follow-up about some hateful, hurtful things a couple of "shock jocks" in Sacramento said and the whirlwind they're reaping because of it. Hooray for the advertisers who agree that the idiots on that radio show are advocating violence toward children who don't fit into their narrow little good-old-days-that-never-really-existed gender role assignments. Those advertisers are withdrawing their advertising from the radio station in question. Some of the people commenting have been yelling "that's sensorship!" (sic) No, it's not. Nor is it is violating "freedom of speech." Those idiots have the right to express stupid, prejudiced, hateful opinions. But the government isn't trying to shut them up (that would indeed be censorship, and I'd object to it even though I detest what the shock-jocks said). The people who were (indirectly) paying their salaries decided that they didn't want to fund them. Those businesses are invoking their own rights to spend their money where they choose.

Lots of people seem to think that "free speech" means "I have the right to say anything at all, no matter how awful or offensive, without any consequences whatsoever." The first part of that sentence may be true, but the second -- the part about consequences -- is not. People should realize that advocating beating children is an opinion that has consequences. With freedom of speech comes responsibility, and the idiots on that radio show need to discover that they have to take responsibility for their ignorant, hateful actions.

What the heck is it with Sacramento, anyhow? Rush Limbaugh got his start in right-wing talk radio there, as many people know. I was listening to him back when the only station he was on was KFBK. But I don't recall him ever suggesting that the right way to deal with a gender non-conforming child was to beat the child with a shoe.
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