Monthly Archives: February 2012

Straight, No Chaser

“I say, play your own way. Don’t play what the public want you play what you want and let the public pick up on what you doing even if it does take them fifteen, twenty years.”
–Thelonious Monk

Beast or God

“He who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god.”


Last night on The Colbert Report with author Ann Patchett debating bricks & mortar book stores vs. buying online:

Colbert: “One of the rare times that I read books is to escape, so I don’t have to talk to people.”

Patchett: “Right. But, if you never, ever talk to people, and you meet all of your needs on the Internet, you wake up one day and you are the Unabomber.”


“I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.”
— David Foster Wallace


“Do not fear mistakes. There are none.”
—Miles Davis

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.”
—Oscar Wilde

Top 5 Volcanic Eruptions Since 1700


10 April 1815
Volcanic Explosivity Index:7

The largest eruption in modern history, Tambora cast a cloud of ash around the world, which caused 1816 to be the “year without a summer”. A foot of snow fell in Quebec City in June of that year.


27 August 1883

The eruption of Krakatoa caused a tsunami 150 feet high, and the explosion was heard 3000 miles away.


6 June 1912

The largest eruption of the 20th Century took place on the Alaska Peninsula. Novarupta threw out 30 times more material than Mt St Helens, and ash rained down on Kodiak Island for three days reaching over a foot in depth.


15 June 1991

It had been 500 years since Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines. The thousands of earthquakes & minor eruptions in April & May of 1991 led to the evacuation of 66,000 people from the island of Luzon. 850 people were killed in the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, while 92,000 people were estimated to have died in the eruption of Tambora.

Santa Maria

24 October 1902

The smallest of our VEI 6 eruptions took place on the Guatemala coast. It was the first eruption recorded in the mountain’s history, sending ash as far away as San Francisco.

Pesky Cleveland

As I get closer to returning to Alaska, Mount Cleveland gets closer to another eruption. I was once rushed onto a 737 in Anchorage in order to try to outrun the ash cloud from an erupting Mount Redoubt. On the return trip, we flew through Redoubt’s ash cloud, sending the Alaska Air flight into an emergency landing at Anchorage International.

As crazy as it sounds, I’m extremely anxious to get back to Alaska… fifty below zero or not… and Cleveland stirs. The last lava dome was blown out during the December eruptions, and the new dome has built up to 130 feet in diameter.

We are once again at ORANGE.

Photo courtesy of the fine folks over at Alaska Volcano Observatory