Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Water For La Garrucha

Click on the title to see what I've been up to. Unfortunately, some family stuff kept me from going to Guatemala in October and January. Next January I should have some stories though!

This community in the Guatemalan highlands (think the middle of nowhere) has been waiting literally for decades for a chance at clean water. They commissioned the initial, overly-expensive design from a local civil engineering firm. They purchased the rights to the spring they needed. They bought the right-of-way from that spring to their community. All they needed was a better, cheaper design and the means and guidance to build it. That's where Engineers Without Borders and Marquette University stepped in.

Our five-person team, led by my boss at work, has been working for just about a year on the design of the system that will finally give these people what they need to have a little more comfort in their lives. It feels good to have the design phase behind us, but now the real work is beginning-- building the damn thing! 26 kilometers of pipe won't dig themselves into the ground.

One of our team members, Amy Mikus, is down there for the summer helping to build the water system we devised. It should take a full year to get everything up and running if our funding pulls through.

Take a look at the article and the slideshow. The photographer that went down on the January trip was phenomenal... I think there's a link to some of her other work up on that page somewhere. She has some other pictures of Guatemala on her personal website that were also taken during the trip.

Check out Engineers Without Borders if you're interested in what they do. Even if you're not an engineering student, most student chapters will take anybody who is willing to pitch in a pair of hands to build anything from bridges to water systems anywhere from Guatemala to Kenya.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Radiohead [live]

We crossed the big muddy and pretty soon the convoy was at the amphitheatre and we parked far away and ate and robby has this pouch he wears that makes him look like a pirate and we went in and got a primo spot on the lawn and set our blankets down and waited and waited and liars well they were ok some of the time and bad some of the time and awesome a couple times, including a set closing ‘the other side of mount heart attack’ and we waited and waited and then radiohead took the stage individually, slowly, from different directions and started the action and they didn’t use the jumbotron monitors cuz they had this amazing display behind them that tracked each musician and they revealed a trick with it on every song and pretty soon I started dancing like a maniac and didn’t really stop til the second encore and well I probably made a fool out of self (who are we kidding, DID make a fool of myself) but then a lot of other people started dancing and it was just about the best thing ever, certainly the best concert ever, I never thought anything could top my morning jacket at the crystal but they did, in this huge amphitheatre for 50000 people and if it had been a smaller show, well, I may have died. I actually believe that cuz of what happens when you’re watching and listening to greatness and your brain just feels so good like ticklish and happy and I’m sorry that so many people needed help (pot) to get to that place cuz I think it might take away, y’know, and you might not realize it when you were actually having one of those honest-to-God epiphanies and everything in the world is right and you wouldn’t be anywhere else, it was just one of the best times ever I wish you had been there.

(seriously giveup a kidney to see them play)

Sunday, May 18, 2008


this saturday, magda, ian, doug and i will venture up to george washington for sasquatch.

we get fleet foxes, the shaky hands, beirut, the whigs, the national, the new pornos, okkervil river, modest mouse, and r.e.m., all in a row, employing a couple well-timed stage transitions.

they prolly still have tickets and i think you should come.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Dark Knight

that's the second trailer, it played during Iron Man, and well, its kind of embarrassing how happy I became