January 16th, 2012

Pictures to follow

Two days ago, I took care of preparing for this year's federal tax return. Along the way I discovered I needed to upgrade to a more recent version of Quicken Home and Business, and as a bonus for making this upgrade received a free copy of Quicken WillMaker Plus 2012. It turns out the latter software is widely considered the best way for most people to prepare a will, so I decided to take the opportunity to finally take care of this matter.

In the past (i.e. well before law school) I'd prepared draft wills, each of which actually did represent my intent at the time, but I never properly took care of the formalities and hence none of these "wills" would have had legal effect.

But thanks to this new software, as of 1/15/12 I now have a properly executed and witnessed will in the file box under my desk, along with comprehensive instructions for its executor, final arrangements instructions, and (not yet executed) durable powers of attorney for both health care and financial management along with a health care directive.

Going through this process was surprisingly comforting, and frankly I recommend the experience.

However, this process also made me think more generally about what I have that at least a few other people might enjoy, so I'm going to spend the rest of the day posting the best pictures I have from the period from just before my birth through December 25, 2007 (i.e. the point at which any worthwhile photographs were posted to this journal).

Something that impressed me at University of Puget Sound

I've already posted in this journal pictures of the University of Puget Sound campus (the school at which I obtained my Bachelor's degrees), but I'm pretty sure I didn't post a photograph of this plaque from that school's library.

This quote from Emperor Hadrian haunted me at the time, and haunts me still, given how quickly hard-gained engineering knowledge was lost as the Roman empire subsequently deteriorated.

In this regard I feel compelled to add that in the eighth century, while most of Europe was still mired in willful ignorance, it was largely Islamic scholars who worked to preserve what remained of this kind of ancient knowledge. Contemporary conflicts over power and religion aside, I believe that modern scholars of any sort, anywhere, owe those pre-Renaissance Islamic scholars a debt of gratitude for preventing the loss of any more than had already been lost.

Related YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IJisnDuyJIY

Hiking around Mount Rainier in 2003

There are certainly more beautiful photographs of Mount Rainier and the Wonderland Trail, but I like how well this one captured the minimalist nature of how I did it.

The ground sheet was my emergency bivy, the removable body-side cushion of the backpack was my sleeping pad, and the backpack serving as my foot rest contained a tarp that could be configured as a rain shelter should rain appear to be a possibility. I wore my mosquito headnet during the night so that insects wouldn't disturb my sleep despite the lack of a traditional tent.

Related YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0tn98L-LYY

At the Maryhill Stonehenge replica, near the end of my Washington N->S ride, 2006

Note the saddle: it's a Brooks B17 Standard, which I later moved to my touring bicycle and continued to use for a grand total of about 10,000 miles. This exact model of bicycle saddle has been used by long-distance cyclists for the last 114 years, having been included in the Brooks catalogue as early as 1898.

Related YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9w-y24Waz4 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYirlnS19-s