Thursday, January 26, 2012


While doing a little web-searching to learn more about Amish author David Kline, I came across The Amish Cook website and this wonderful picture of a restaurant in Aylmer, Ontario.  Kevin Williams writes:  

I have visited so many Amish and Mennonite food businesses through the years: bakeries, bulk food stores, candy-makers…but the above photo captures one of my favorite Amish country businesses: Menno-Mex on the eastern edge of Aylmer.  Aylmer is a tiny town but a bubbling cultural cauldron of plain…there is a large contingent of Russian-Mennonites with their European features and distinctive dress, an equally sizable community of traditional Old Order Amish, and still a bunch of Mexican Mennonites who have returned from south of the Rio Grande to live. It’s a community coursing with a “plain diversity” unseen elsewhere. Many of the Mexican Mennonites, fair-featured as they are, still crave the staples they grew up on.  It’s this group of returnees that was the inspiration behind Menno-Mex a store that sells typical plain food and wares alongside jalapenos, tamales, and Mazapan chocolates.  Truly a unique – and as the photo shows – colorful store to visit. 

SIGH, my one regret is not getting a recipe for caramel-walnut pie t from an Amish man in Aylmer.  He had offered to run inside to get it from his wife, but being in kind of a hurry I passed up on that…bet it was good!

More on David Kline later.....

Friday, January 20, 2012


As anticipated, one chapter of Boulder's version of Occupy Wall Street came to a predictable end.  The Boulder City Council passed a regulation that made it illegal to camp in city parks between the hours of 11 PM and 5 AM.  

Now, I am just as upset as the next person about folks on Wall Street manipulating their way to making a billion dollars per year [yes about a couple dozen hedge fund managers did that last year], and about the nefarious ways of using other folks' money to enrich oneself.  However, the thinking behind the strategy of camping out on public property as a protest against Wall Street always eluded me.  It's Occupy Wall Street, not?  So while the initial protestors moved on to more effective actions, the Occupy Boulder folks became a group of unemployed and homeless squatters who pooped and peed on public property and even stole the electricity intended for the holiday decorations.  Basically, they were having virtually no effect on Wall Street while requiring that my tax dollars be used for extra law enforcement [drugs, assaults, etc.] and cleaning up their mess.  My suggestion would be that they should be occupying the local banks that are representatives of the biggest miscreants on Wall Street.  And at least some folks are thinking the same way, the irony of which is humorous [Move On/Soros/Billionaire]

You're Invited:
Make Wall Street Pay:
Thursday in Boulder
Host: Don D., MoveOn member

Where: Wells Fargo Bank, 1960 28th St & Walnut (NE corner) near Target (in Boulder)

When: Thursday, Jan. 19, at 12:00 PM

Can you come?
Click below for more details and to RSVP:

I'll be there
I can come.

Can't make it
Sorry, I can't make it this time, but keep me updated on the campaign.
WhatThis Thursday, we're calling on President Obama to stand up for the 99% and launch a full investigation into Wall Street's role in the foreclosure crisis right away. We're protesting at the very Wall Street banks the president needs to investigate—Bank of America, Chase, Wells Fargo, and others. We'll let the media and our communities know that the big banks' greed caused millions of Americans to lose their homes. The president has the power to hold the big banks accountable—can you help make sure he uses it by attending a "Yes He Can?" event in Boulder?

MoveOn is committed to nonviolence in the long tradition of protest movements throughout our history that have brought America closer to our founding dream—liberty and justice for all. As progressives, we respect all people and do not support or endorse any violence or property destruction.

And don't worry, this email was sent through the MoveOn system, so your personal contact info is kept private.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I have never been particularly intrigued by engaging in sporting activities that have a significant risk of severe injury or death.  Hiking Fourteeners with Rhonda, boulder hopping and traversing scree is probably about as risky as it gets for me - just lily-livered I guess!  I do have an admiration for those who are willing to take greater risks since there may be greater feelings of accomplishment.  However, articles in today's Boulder Daily Camera about the life and death of legendary Boulder climber Jack Roberts are a reminder of the risks of mountain, rock and ice climbing.  In reading the stories, I was struck by the beauty of the ice that few folks other than climbers get to see, so here are a few photos of Colorado ice:

The Fang at Vail


Hidden Falls


Saturday, January 14, 2012


The late Ron Wisner and I loved to explore new terrain on our trail runs.  Our good friend Luis Lowe would often accompany us as our designated whiner - but that's another story.  We logged many satisfying hours on Barr Trail, the Santa Fe Regional Trail / American Discovery Trail, Waldo Canyon, Section 16, and the trails at Mount Saint Francis, the Air Force Academy and Austin Bluffs, to name a few.  For some time, Ron had been talking about running on Trail 713, and so one weekend we headed out in search of the trail-head.

Disclaimer - What follows is a re-creation of our adventure, and anyone who knew Ron as a runner or tennis player will certainly recognize that the legs shown are not Ron's!   As a gift to Ron, my friend and colleague Jeff Jasperse from Pepperdine helped me recreate this outing, with photography by Steven McClurg.  Click on the pictures for enlarged versions.

In Search of the 713

A typical beginning of a trail run - Ron leading and no doubt chatting while I focus on keeping up.  We had followed the not-so-straightforward directions to the trail head, but saw no signs or markers.

It was not very long before we came to a fork in the trail - decision time!

Well, the EIL was not what we were looking for, nor was it anything that we had ever heard of before, so after a moment, we jumped the rock in the middle of the right fork and headed out.

Well, after about 500 feet and a couple of turns, the trail ended.  Note that Ron would not concede that this was leading nowhere and that I was ready to turn back!  After a bit of bushwacking, Ron agreed that perhaps the EIL trail was going nowhere.

So, we returned to the original fork in the trail, and within a few moments, we were both laughing out loud.

The mystery of the EIL Trail was solved!!  And we headed out on the 713 for a memorable run that will always be referred to as "The E-I-L."


Whilst surfing the wasteland last night as a prelude to watching the Nuggets pwn the Heat, I came across a Storytellers Concert performance by My Morning Jacket - some decent stuff amidst some mediocre - but interesting.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Another Example With Lights On A Dark Background

What it shows: Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and random motion. One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning! Aliasing and quantum revival can also be shown.

How it works: The period of one complete cycle of the dance is 60 seconds. The length of the longest pendulum has been adjusted so that it executes 51 oscillations in this 60 second period. The length of each successive shorter pendulum is carefully adjusted so that it executes one additional oscillation in this period. Thus, the 15th pendulum (shortest) undergoes 65 oscillations. When all 15 pendulums are started together, they quickly fall out of sync—their relative phases continuously change because of their different periods of oscillation. However, after 60 seconds they will all have executed an integral number of oscillations and be back in sync again at that instant, ready to repeat the dance.

Comments: Our apparatus was built from a design published by Richard Berg at the University of Maryland. He claims their version is copied from one at Moscow State University.  Dr. Jiri Drabek at Palacky University in the Czech Republic has informed us that it was originally designed and constructed by Ernst Mach, professor of mathematics in Praha and Vienna around the year 1867.  The demonstration is used in the Czech Republic under the name "Machuv vinostroj" -- the "Wavemachine of Mach."  The apparatus we have was designed and built by Nils Sorensen.

James Flaten and Kevin Parendo have mathematically modeled the collective motions of the pendula with a continuous function. The function does not cycle in time and they show that the various patterns arise from aliasing of this function—the patterns are a manifestation of spatial aliasing (as opposed to temporal). Indeed, if you've ever used a digital scope to observe a sinusoidal signal, you have probably seen some of these patterns on the screen when the time scale was not set appropriately.

Here at Harvard, Prof Eric Heller has suggested that the demonstration could be used to simulate quantum revival. So here you have quantum revival versus classical periodicity!

Monday, January 09, 2012


Thus sayeth Davey Yoder, Real Amishman ® when I asked him what he thought of the Amish folks featured in the national ad campaign for the Heat Surge electric heater housed in a handcrafted Amish mantle.  You have probably seen the full-page ads in your local paper as well as in national publications that some folks believe is first-rate scam.  Others have used the pictures as a source for humorous modification!

Davey never explained exactly why these folks aren't Real Amishmen ® but I gathered that no Real Amishman ® would a) be such a crass self-promoter as the fellow that appears in all of the ads; b) not agree to have his 'graven image' published nationwide; and c) promote a technology that the Amish themselves do not use.  Davey intimated that the unnamed Amishman was a renegade in Ohio.  Davey also builds furniture, so maybe he thinks the workmanship doesn't compare to that of a Real Amishman ®

Now, I am doubtful that there are any Real Amishmen ® who read this blog, although a lot of Amish do have cell-phones and maybe some even have smart phones for surfing the web, looking for articles about Amish.  If so, perhaps they can help us understand what it takes to be a Real Amishman ®  Since that probably won't happen, I would invite some of you out there who used to be Real Amishmen ® and are now jerked-over, English to share with us what it means to be a Real Amishman ®  It's interesting to note that the local bishop has so much control over what it means to be a Real Amishman ®  In Elkhart and Lagrange counties in Indiana, farming is still pretty much done with horses, but there are a fair number of tractors to be seen on Amish farms, and in the Great Plains, the Amish have the biggest of the four-wheel drive John Deere's with air-conditioned cabs [at least according to my source, former Real Amishman ® Devon 'Slugger' Bontrager].  The bishop also determines other important matter such as whether or not you can have rubber on your buggy's wheels.

And lastly, the fellows below are assuredly not  Real Amishmen ® but rather are the Electric Amish, and you should check out their website.

And this fellow too is no Real Amishman ®


Dirty Dingus Magee