Monday, December 27, 2010

Return to Jurassic Park

Today we are headed out to the hot springs near Naga, which Joahnna and I nicknamed "Jurassic Park" because of the vibrant growth and huge cliff walls directly over the springs. We are looking forwards to it since this was one of our favorite parts of the last trip.

Last night uncle Chito treated us to dinner at his house, including his special Bicol Express (very good). I spent some time syncing up with my dad on our favorite topics - guns, cars, and politics - and he also spent some time chatting with Raoul. After dinner we came back to the hotel and watched the kids and adults practice their performances for the reunion.

Yesterday Joahnna took a family photo for auntie Irma, which turned out so well that auntie lyn and imbot both asked for photo shoots with their families, which Joahnna is doing this morning. Work is never done!

Also different for this trip, last time we took a sub notebook, but this time we left it behind in favor of the smaller iPad. So far it has worked quite well, as long as you are willing to slow down your typing rate a little bit (you have to be a little more careful on the virtual keyboard). The biggest limitation of it so far is that we cant use it to download photos from the camera, so we need to borrow someone's laptop to do that. Not a big limitation here in Naga, where we have tons of family, but could limit its usefulness if you were traveling alone.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

How private enterprise saves money

I was reading this article from AvWeb about the SpaceX launch and recovery of their "Dragon" capsule. Sometimes you can save a little money here and there by privitization, but sometimes you can save huge chunks (emphasis added):

It's worth noting that while nuclear-powered aircraft carriers have been dispatched to recover space capsules in the past, an inflatable boat with an outboard motor accomplished the task this time.

Moral roots of liberals and conservatives

I saw an excellent talk on TED about the psychological roots of liberals and conservatives. Makes the point that despite our innate desire to group with like-minded individuals, both viewpoints bring valuable mindsets to the table and if we want to be a whole country again, we need to understand the other half.