Friday, August 22, 2008

Some Mountains this day...Yay!

Off to the high country...To Mt Evans.


Looking east, can you see the entrainment layer (of the boundary layer) here trapping in pollution from the front range? Nasty, but cool from an science point-of-view to see it so clearly at 14,000 feet.

Sorry to be negative, back to those gorgeous goats--they seem to like the fresh air.

Friday, August 15, 2008

More Peak Oil

Even as oil prices plummet, I have ramped up my buy-in to the peak-oil theory and the consequences. Based solely on the price of oil decreasing lately, maybe I should be skeptical, but, sadly, I think the decrease in prices is temporary.

The term peak-oil is debatable and can either be what is meant as half the oil extracted from the earth or that the ability to produce more is peaked. I believe in the latter and the latter also includes that crazy theory of Abiogenic oil. Abiogenic, if exists, doesn't mean there are no worries. The theory seems refuted by most geologists but if say it does exist, it's so slow that effectively oil production will still peak.

The problem with peak oil production is a simple economics problem. You reach the limit to where you can produce it. If the demand increases, then the price will rise due to the limited supply. Fine, that is basic economics. But the problem is that oil has been taken for granted and very necessary in modern society. It is expected that oil be cheap to live the lifestyle that people have lived for the past 50 years. If people have to spend more of their income to get to work and get food, and then food prices rise due to the same effect, the economy has to necessarily shrink due to money reallocation to fuels and inflation factors.

Money allocation is what determines prosperity. When you have lots to spend on fun, you are prosperous. When it's spent just to survive (and you have to work more to get it), you are not so prosperous. Peak oil seems to very well define prosperity in some sense unless alternatives are found that are just as cheap. The question is whether that is possible and whether if it can be done in time before some huge economic crisis occurs.

I have to recommend a great lecture by David Goodstein, vice provost at Caltech University. He is a terrific lecturer, who did a great series of basic physics called the 'Mechanical Universe.' The lecture is definitely directed toward a person with college science background but still can be understood for the most part by most people.

It's based on his book, 'Out of Gas.' I have learned a lot of physics from Dr Goodstein that helps my career, but I feel it's one of the most important lectures I have seen in my lifetime.

Watch it here in Cable or dsl , Modem, Broadband Requires RealPlayer

I have watched 'A Crude Awakening,' 'The End of Suburbia, 'Escape from Suburbia' and 'End of Oil,' They are all excellent documentaries, But unlike them, this lecture doesn't have the dramatic music and editing they do. It's a straight lecture by a scientist like you would see at a science conference.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Keen Should Owe Me...

But will they even notice my rave review? Freebie for you... I know the Keens CEO is going LOL..Idiot.

My wife got me these for commuting. But they are so comfortable and useful, they are my main bike shoe. I'm not kidding. The feel and comfort make them a great bike shoe. Sure they don't have the solid attachment of some shoes like Sidi, but wow, when riding normally, they are spectacular--Cool and comfortable. Heck they work well on killer technical rides too.

And you don't have to worry about walking on water, you can walk through it.

I pretty sure I have 1000 miles plus on them since I got them in May..and have ridden all but two rides in them.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Sights in North Boulder County (via bike)

...On a 50 mile ride to Hall Ranch and back. Pix of Hall Ranch, if that is what you are looking for, can be found somewhere in my archives.

Classic Colorado farm grain elevators. This was interesting because the trees are growing in the elevator.

Radio telescopes at Table Mountain test facility.

"true Grit" north 63rd and Hwy 66.

A rotten wooden fence on North 63rd

Sunday, August 03, 2008

The wheels continue to spin

What a great summer it is. I have been riding and riding and riding.... I was worried that these high temps in the upper 90s would dampen my riding opportunities but after a few rides in them, I love it. I have hit some fitness threshold that makes it hard for me not to have fun.

For the first part of the year I struggled to get below 184 pounds, then suddenly a breakthrough. Now my scale typically reads 178 and it even hits 175 after a hard ride.

But the best part is I have obtained a level of fitness that allows me to keep my body temp regulated better. Part might be lower body fat allowing faster cooling, but part is probably more efficient energy use in not having the weight to carry.

Another odd thing that has happened in that I like riding my hardtail more again. I felt before like it beat me up, even though before I had a full-suspension bike, it was all I knew. But I have started to get my arms back and am finding the snappiness of my hardtail exciting again--especially out of the saddle. Sure, I'm not going to be riding it on all the rocky trails up in the mountains but it's sure fun to ride it on the local area trails that I would normally take a bike with a little more travel on.