Archive for the ‘California’ Category


In his book The Pencil: A History of Design and Circumstance, Henry Petroski tells at length of early graphite mining and its impact on the development of the pencil.  From what I recall, for many years there was but one deposit in England that produce graphite of the right quality to produce workable pencils.  As one reviewer of the book writes: (more…)

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It is snowing in Vancouver.  Nothing sticking to the roads, but the trees are white and beautiful.  Nothing much to do outside or inside for that matter, so just  a few thoughts on mine waste disposal facility covers.

Slimes & Cement

The best cover is no cover.  If you can use the upper tailings or waste rock as the as the growth medium in which a stand of climax vegetation will flourish, you have the best cover. (more…)

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The EPA’s decision about the prudence of developing the Pebble Mine or any other mine in the area of Bristol Bay is in–see this link. This blog (I/me) has been a consistent critic of the idea of developing the Pebble Mine.  In short, I cannot see how a mine could be developed in such an environment without unacceptable impact. (more…)

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DSCF2314 - Copy

Virginia Beach has what is possibly the greatest collection of ugly public art I have yet come across.  Here are some pictures to prove my point. In addition to these pictures we saw the following scenes that I did not photography while wondering around. (more…)

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At the address in the photo above is an amazing collection of public art.  On the outside walls of the Huntington Beach Civic Center are painted tiles of birds.  These tiles were saved when the old shopping mall across the way was torn down.  These tiles were part of this grand old shopping center–from a time when money could be spent on art not artifice.  But when the center was pulled down to make way for bigger shops that would attract the richer, younger crowd moving into the surrounding areas, luckily the tiles were saved and placed on the walls of the Civic Center. (more…)

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The temperature in Huntington Beach today was 82 degrees–not sure what that is in degrees Celsius.  Regardless, we took a bike ride down to the beach and pier.  Here are some pictures of an hot Christmas in Southern California.

DSCF2093 (more…)

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Bought the last of the Christmas presents today.  As always, I spent more on myself than on others. We bought the new Trek 24 inch bicycle yesterday for the grandson.  Today I bought a paint-the-glass kit for the granddaughter.  And the complete TV series of Two Fat women for my daughter.  I have not seen any of the episodes, but she swears the two fat ladies going around England on cooking trips is hilarious.  I bought myself a DVD of Leonard Cohen in concert. Will watch it after posting this piece. (more…)

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I have moved on from countries and companies. I have left (and re-entered) countries. I have left companies and joined the principals in other companies. I have, in a word, moved around. At 67, I spend no time cogitating on these past decisions.  With so long a history of making decisions and moving on, I have so much to regret that I would go crazy thinking what would have been had I not made those many decisions.  It is futile to regret a past decision that may have been the wrong decision. (more…)

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I am sitting in an office in Irvine California looking out at blue sky and warm temperatures. Not quite the holiday feeling that pervaded Vancouver with dark, wet days and many bright lights. The holiday greetings are arriving fast and furious.  A few old-fashioned Christmas cards arrived on my desk from the more traditional companies.  And many emails carrying much the same message. (more…)

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Here above from a recent publication, 2013 Status of Recent Geosciences Graduates,  from the American Geosciences Institute are salaries of recent geosciences graduates.  Sorry the quality is poor.  Please refer to the original report at the link provided.  A flyer in my email notes this about the salaries of recent geoscience graduates: (more…)

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