Terence Yorks
presents a slower blog


The Ruffled Grouse looks at life


  Please do enjoy the following despite the inevitable flaws from erring towards quickness in presentation and pushing boundaries of anyone's reach. The difficult is most worth trying, though risking more errors along the way. There should emerge some balance through revealing well-tested potential solutions -- some that are original -- that could be both profitable and important, if these could be more widely shared.
  For potential employers, these reflections are of the moment. Apparent biases would not trespass into more formally commissioned scientific observations. I can, indeed, still compartmentalize and respect appropriate limits, especially within work that would carry more than my own name.

Not just tangent topics:

Background for this Blog

Military Deaths Abroad

Mercury Poisoning


17 May 2013

In the early ‘90s, when I had a contract researching practical possibilities for better bison slaughter pathways, the hot coming thing in improving meat inspection was an evolving set of procedures called “Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points”. What was supposed, and looked to be a well thought out plan has, as usual, apparently turned into the palest shadow of its originally good intentions, once it twisted through the irresponsible-corporation-dominated legal implementation processes. In today’s salon.com postings Martha Rosenberg wrote, “Food activists, animal activists, consumers and even industry insiders called HACCP “Have a Cup of Coffee and Pray.” I about fell off my chair laughing at that acronym fill-in.

I may have laughed, but only sadly as an outcome of never having understood why already rich people trying to earn a few pennies more cause widespread, completely unnecessary suffering. Nobody really benefits from this stupid greed, for even the shortcutters get poorer health and food quality from underpaying workers, lousy working conditions, resulting bad sanitation, and general lack of care in processes.This applies outside the ffood system as well, of course.


10 January 2013

In late afternoon, as a day of milder conditions turns to a blizzard right at the time of the evening commute for the lemmings. All the weight that I have been fulminating against is acting at this moment to create such chaos that they are literally hung up within all along Utah’s highways, with the Interstate north of Salt Lake City at a virtual standstill, though they will still fail to appreciate its true source.

Sitting high and isolated in their traffic delaying turtle shell living rooms, drivers cannot judge relative speeds, and the weight dampens totally their ability to feel what is happening under their wheels. The fat tires that apparently allow defying physics on dry roads lose their ability to grip, so the weight slides dramatically further on them when they try to stop. In their cushy seats, drivers cannot feel an incipient skid, and when one starts for their unbalanced mass, recovery is hopeless. The result is wrecks in massive quantities, with damage far greater than it would have been with smaller impactors.

This really isn’t a storm that would have been such a big deal back when the roads weren’t so crowded with excess mass. I’ve driven across the country more than once in worse. One simply slowed down and spaced out. Now, however, on days like this, I won't even go out. The more reasonably designed vehicles like the ones that I share no longer have a chance against the dominant, incapable of control, unthinking masses, especially after they've had a few weeks to forget what happens when things get a little slick.

Once again, it doesn’t have to be that way. Lighten up, and movement gets easier, no matter what the circumstances..

Then, too, the storm looks very pretty outside our windows, from a home that doesn't seek to go anywhere else.


7 January 2013

The official air quality in our bitterly cold valley continues being “unhealthy”, still worsening, at three times the EPA allowable levels for PM2.5s, and with NOxs high, too. This, in a local culture where the average vehicle now weighs more than twice either of the ones we own, usually carries a smaller useful load, and is driven more than four times as far each year. It just occurred to me that that there is a better summary core for not just foul air but also the insanely bad experience that roads have become. All the wholly unnecessary weight being moved so uselessly, mostly mindlessly repetitiously, originates in how too many Americans seem to want to take their houses (or something more pleasant than the also oversized pasteboard boxes that they sleep in) with them everywhere they go. As existential cowards, they seem never to want to encounter the world around them directly. Thus, they have become the most obese turtles ever seen (with a net speed little higher), leaving waste products behind in proportion to their size and to the consequences of trying to move the weight of their immense shells.

Science fiction tales long ago projected human greed and attempts to have perfect environments for themselves would have the price of fouling increasingly irremediably everything beyond their artificial bubble boundaries. That has now come to pass. Inside those immensely expensive, semi-mobile nests, mostly found peristaltically moving slowly nose to tail, or even closer idling, in lines, the phrases from the Who’s rock opera Tommy applies, “I can’t see you, I can’t feel you…” The occupants try and mostly succeed in never directly encountering, or at least noticing, the noise and filth they are spewing around them, along with the rest of the destruction they pass into the remaining world. Invisibly to themselves, they continue to burn prodigious amounts of fuel to slowly, and in raggedly regimented sync, slide past the extension of their computer wallpaper, which they as rarely glance at through their windows. Mostly their destinations are to simply to burrow through artificial undergrounds, caves simulated behind closed curtains, or even more often just windowless walls. Of course, most of the world that they have created outside those is too ugly to contemplate, anyway.

Beyond inertia and the associated corporate greed, it all continues because individual vehicle operators seem to have no more consciousness of how huge associated, wholly unnecessary, economic costs are borne directly by themselves. These, too, rise directly with their choices for how much weight to move and for how much distance. These costs are immense, even with most of them hidden behind “low monthly fees” for ownership, insurance costs borne by victims instead of perpetrators of damage done in collisions, along with fuel and highway costs deferred by their political representatives to be vastly below their at least their at least four times greater impacts on health, other societal aspects, and the rest of everyone's future.

There was a time when there was such a thing as an open road, almost exactly paralleling the lawns (or better meadows) that children used to play on, that have slipped over many years into becoming too noisy and toxic to enjoy. The only place they remain is in the illusions of commercials. These incessantly push the big lie that these old freedoms have not been crushed out of existence by inherent excesses from trying to obtain those original dreams without the least discomfort or physical work being involved, and without total human numbers considerably smaller than they have already ballooned to. It all seemed to have been magic when we were children, but because magic is illusion, and most human have never grown beyond such childish illusions, this planet has become a place of even more pervasive tragedy. This didn’t, and doesn’t, have to be that way.

If all these people took the time to stop hiding from the world, this is just one of the possibilities that they might see, and stop being "they", but instead become "us":

Ice formations in Summit Creek
The image was made not far from our home, yesterday, without needing a vehicle to get to it..


then from the past, breaking the most prolific posting years into more digestible chunks at the solstice, entries from:

 2012 and 2011
     late 2007 early 2007,
        late 2006, early 2006,
           late 2005, early 2005,
             and 2004


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further distribution or posting in any form without written permission is strictly prohibited.

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Concept originated 1 December 2004;
Page updated as of the leading entry.

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