Friday, July 01, 2005

Guest Maintainer of the Blog


On July 1 I officially retired from Los Alamos National Laboratory after working here for slightly more than 20 years. On July 2, I am hopping on the bike pictured to the left and traveling some 5,000 miles during a two week trip through British Colombia. During that period, the blog will have a guest maintainer: someone whom I greatly respect -- Brad Holian. Brad, as you recall, was one of the few LANL staffers who had the courage to take a public stand over the justifications that were then being presented to us for why LANL had been shut down on July 16 last year. It is Brad's safety article that was subsequently published in the December, 2004 issue of Physics Today that set the record straight regarding LANL's safety history and trends. I think the article is probably worth a reread: Brad retired this year, but has since returned as a Laboratory Associate, working three days per week.

Please be respectful of the posting guidelines during Brad's tenure as guest maintainer of the blog. Submissions should continue to be sent to


Nice Bike Doug. Be careful and enjoy your trip. Thanks for the blog.I really do think it has helped these last few months.
Have a really great trip and
Doug, thanks for the BLOG!!
Hey Doug,

I wish you all the best. It was good to know and work with you, even if we didn't get the Diamond/Trinity intersection working better. Thanks for the blog. Keep in touch.

Michael McKay, retired 7/1/2004

Thanks for the blog. It really helps.

BUT, why didn't you get a REAL motorcycle, aka, a Harley?
Ah, a comedian. Come to think of it though, the blog hasn't had a flame war over motorcycles yet...



Take it to Sturgis and you will learn!
REAL men don'ttake their HARLEY"S TO Sturges in the packof a pickup.
Doug is good and so are all motorcycles and the people who ride them
Doug, Good Travels to ya! Ride Safe!
Take it from a long time motorcycle enthusiast and builder of American bikes and X-Harley owner. I got so sick of keeping them running and keeping them from rattling apart.
Don't listen to those who who degrade that beautiful bike of yours.
Who needs a Harley? In other words a "Bad handling-bad braking, noisy, oil dripping piece of shit built for a fat asshole who lost his or her brains to beer"
You will get a thrill buzzing past those broken down Harley mongers!Just smile big and give them the bird!
Good luck to ya bud.
Ty...(1999 Kawasaki ZX9R-and other *high quality* import motorcycles)
Made of Tin
Ride them out
Push them in.
For those that need enlightenment:

1)Doug's german BMW is not a "rice burner"

2)Harley's have a cult following for poor performance loud motorcycles

3)Go to the iron butt website and see what motorcycles get real high milage rides. You will see that few are not BMWs

Good taste in motorcycles Doug, ride safe!

Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It's the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here's a happy one for you.

Happy trails to you until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin' until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we're together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you 'till we meet again.

Music and Lyrics by Dale Evans-Rogers
Enjoy your ride Doug.

Welcome Brad...

- Steve Smith

Thanks for the welcome. And, Doug--as one who has been associated with safety issues, let me urge you to drive that 2-wheel Beemer with caution; keep your smile inside the helmet so the bugs don't require flossing.

Just another clarification for all you other newly retired, but returning Lab Associates, whose blood pressure may have suddenly dropped when Doug said I'm back working three days a week: whereas Lab Ass.'s may work less than eight days a week, they can only be paid for two.

Anybody with a HD needs a budy with a pickup truck to bring it home in.
To anonymous at 7/04/2005 04:52:05 PM. maybe you are correct about the pickup truck, but at least you can park it on the street at Sturgis!
Real men do not ride Harley's. Come on.

You are back working three days a week? That would be a lot more than you worked before you retired so what is up with that? You are cool and all that but come on, it is not like you ever really put in any effort.
Anonymous at 7/05/2005 03:15:24 PM knows Brad very well.
Hey- don't let the door....
THREE days a week? Hell, I work SEVEN days a week. It's just that I only get PAID for two days a week.
Sure, we are supposed to believe that Brad works seven days a week. But, at what?
OK, guys, you are going to have to come up with some higher quality flames here. You all know that I am a theoretician and Doug is a biker, so your jokes can get to be pretty...shall we say...personal. And Doug has remonstrated all blog posters with, "Be nice," or something to that effect. (More a theory guy kinda thing to say than you'd expect from a biker, but, like--hey!)

So, no let's 'cycle' no more 'theory' jokes at the expense of the Blog Maintainer, awright? (Unless, of course, they have more of a Zen flavor. -Apologies to Persig.)


Like I said you are cool and all that but you do not work that much. You know it I know it and all of T knows it.
Hey Brad, while we are on to flameing you, why does it say in all those nice articles that you wrote, that you have a Ph.d in theoretical physics? You have a Ph.d in chemistry not physics. I think you need to come clean on that.
My PhD was in theoretical chemical physics from the Chemistry Department at UC Berkeley. I've never used that fact to lord it over my fellow physicists. And when I come face-to-face with a real chemist, I never try to pretend that I know anything about quantum mechanics.

Incidentally, the only biographical info in the Physics Today article states:

"Brad Holian has worked for 32 years as a theoretical physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The opinions expressed herein are his and do not represent official views of LANL management."

(When you flame a chemist, be sure you have both fuel and oxidant.)

-Brad (call me a chemist; call me a physicist; I don't mind--I've been called lots worse)
Leave Brad alone. He said "I never try to pretend that I know anything about quantum mechanics. He can't be all bad.
OK Brad,

You are a chemist. Trust me.
Hi, I like your blog. I have a site on Digital Blood Pressure Monitors maybe we could trade links?
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