I’m terribly sorry, but I’ve been somewhat disjointed as of late, and you’re going to have to suffer through a bit of stream-of-consciousness.

High-Definition Television is the greatest thing EVER. Between the crisp detail of the image, the size of the image, and the wide aspect ratio, this is what television should look like. This has been one giant step toward the future that I was promised, when robots would attend to our every need, we would have flying cars, and holographic screens in our homes. OK, it isn’t holographic, but it’s the next best thing to it.

We watched a hi-def special on cave diving in the Florida panhandle, and it was simply stunningly beautiful. It was as close as I ever want or need to get to being 160 feet underwater in a limestone cave.

Why is pop music such crap right now? I listen to a particular radio station in the morning because I like the personalities. Unfortunately they interrupt the playful banter occasionally to play music. God, it’s awful. Four-chord progressions, vapid lyrics, slurred pronunciation, typically all in the same song. Why do people listen to this crap?

It seems to me that every other generation has to suffer awful music. The 60’s was all about rock and roll, and the fusion of folk with rock. Then came disco. The 80’s was the influx of electronica, the influence of punk, and the emergence of New Wave. Then came Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Grunge and alternative rock was gritty and had some real emotion in it. Now we have Kelly Clarkson, and songs with choruses like this:

Well somebody told me
You had a boyfriend
Who looks like a girlfriend
That I had in February of last year
It’s not confidential
I’ve got potential

What the hell does that mean?!? I think I’m turning into an old man. Damn kids and their Gawdawful music.

I’ve been listening to excerpts from the journals of Lewis and Clark on CD. It’s been unexpectedly interesting. First of all, when these guys weren’t sick, they were in some kind of wicked good shape. After sailing upstream all day, they’d go for a 12 or 20 mile hike to survey the area, then get up in the morning and do it again. Nearly every day involved walking distances that would cripple me in short order. And this doesn’t even consider the portages, the poling, etc. The physical effort required to complete their expedition was Herculean.

Secondly, something that comes through their writing is a sense that these were men who wanted to do the right thing at all times, in all their efforts. Although many of their comments regarding the natives of the areas they passed through can now seem racist, or at least intolerant, I think we need to view them through the lens of their own experience. I think their own words show that they were basically good, honest men. This first push through the northwest territory could have gone very badly indeed, if different men had been charged with this expedition.

I am particularly enjoying the sections recounting the winter layover of the expedition time at Fort Clatsop, near the mouth of the Columbia River. They spend a great deal of time complaining of the constant rain. It’s good to know that some things haven’t changed, at least. This morning’s edition of The Oregonian noted that this has been the wettest January in three decades. We’ve had nearly 10 inches of rain in Portland, the most since January 1970, when 11.81 inches fell. But wait, there’s more! Forecasters expect up to another inch or more today, as another strong storm arrives.

I will never dry out.

I need to start riding my bike to work again. However, in addition to the everpresent precipitation, there is another factor at work here: Sunrise and Sunset Times in Portland in February. Riding in the rain AND the dark just sounds like a recipe for disaster on my bike. I’ll have to evaluate day by day when I feel like I can start riding in.

When will my children want to sleep with their bedroom doors closed? I can understand as little ones they wanted to be able to see a little extra light. My daughter, in particular, had real problems with a dark room and usually had a night light that could function equally well as a navigation beacon. The wife and I leave our bedroom door ajar, partly because that way we can hear it if any of them is throwing up, having a nightmare, or falling out of bed. We also keep the door ajar because our house has settled in such a way that quite a few of the doors don’t quite close properly. I have sanded and planed our bedroom door until you can actually close it, but it requires a bit of effort to do so, so we usually leave it ajar. Maybe as the wife and I grow more and more hard of hearing, and turn the Home Theater sound higher and higher in the evenings, the kids will be forced to close their doors in order to get to some sleep. But I doubt it.

I am looking forward to watching Seattle play in the Superbowl this weekend. I still don’t quite believe that they’re even playing in the game, much less hoping they’ll win it. I’m trying to keep my expectations pleasantly low.