Ben Stein

I recently had the pleasure (and luxury of time) of hearing a talk that Ben Stein (famous as boring teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off) gave to the California Commonwealth Club (I know nothing about that club beyond the assumption that it's strongly affiliated with the state of California). I usually like or dislike what I hear on NPR to varying degrees. However, in this case, I felt strongly positive enough about what Mr. Stein had to say that I want to give you a chance to hear it too. The link below should allow you to watch and hear his talk. I thought it was insightful, optimistic, and at times profound. The only downside is that it's an hour long. I found it to be well worth the time. If you spend the time and find it to be a waste of an hour, I guess I owe you a beer (maybe two if you're really bitter).

Ben Stein on How Not to Ruin Your Life at the California Commonwealth Club.



This movie isn't exciting or suspenseful. It isn't manufactured or slick. It isn't formulaic or predictable.

It's simple. It's slow. And it's beautiful.


My first prescribed fire

This week, I finally got to go out and participate in an 1,100 acre prescribed fire. I spent the first half of the day learning about playing the role of Red-cockaded Woodpecker biologist on the burn, which basically entails protecting good woodpecker cavity trees from getting torched. During the second half, I got to drive lines through the woods on an ATV with a huge drip torch type thing squirting fire out the back. All in all, I liked it and want to do more.