MMS Friends

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

1400/s

yes, that's in dollars per second. profit. oil. hmmmmmmmmm....moooolah.

exxon mobil. now, that's money.

Monday, January 30, 2006

calexico at the make out room

thanks to amanda and her friend for the spare ticket...and of course to jelle for the guestlist, paul for the chop gossip and jeff matt for showin' up on short notice to hang out...

Sunday, January 29, 2006

in a sure sign outlook will create as many problems as it solves

So today is Sunday, The first day of the new year for some big chunk of the city of San Francisco and an even bigger chunk of the world. But what it really is is the 29th. The day Calexico plays at the Make Out Room. What does any of this have to do with a Microsoft product? Well, it's not in my calendar (Sunday is, but the show isn't) which means it didn't happen.

As it turns out, it did happen, just not last night when I thought it was happening. This has been happening to me more and more; if it's not calendared, I miss it.

I think this is lame. I admit to being generally happy that I can be even more productive with the aide of a calendar synchronized to a pocketable device and bundled with a contacts list and email service and web browsing capabilities but damned if it doesn't make non calendared stuff harder to keep track of.

Lately I've even found myself cross with meeting organizers that don't set alarms for their meetings. This is even lamer.

None of this means I'm not glad that I'm going to the show (7pm) but it was strange to think damn when I woke up last night after accidentally falling asleep watching a movie at 8:30 with no guest list nod. Hard to get that nod on the wrong day. What it does mean is my schedule as much as my scheduling has finally started to become incompatible with other aspects of my life. Mostly the old indie rock aspects of my life.

Any folks close to me know I'm pretty conflicted about my loose ties to the Chicago music scene, despite its huge impact on my life, but there are some aspects of it I genuinely miss. In particular there are some people that I really like, luckily I'm in touch with a good number of them. There are also some bands that I really like, and I wish I could actually work with in the future - one never knows when one will decide on an alternate line of work. Sometimes I wonder if this current line of work is sustainable, with regard to personal fulfillment more than any other aspect (I'm not concerned with my ability to make a go of it, because it's actually a great combination of enjoyable, rewarding, challenging and easy) but the evenness isn't there on the reward front. In my various film/music enterprises the reward and challenge are there quite a bit, but the balance between the sustainably remunerative and challenging/rewarding was harder to find...
As I've gotten older and the bands I like have as well, that balance is a bit easier, though I suspect it's because I have to make time for it now...

I suppose these are the challenges of life with diverse and divergent interests...

at least I can manage to love it's diversity as much as the challenges

the third man and ual

As many know, I'm a big fan of the film The Third Man, and not just because of the haunting but incredibly simple guitar soundrack (sort of a precursor to The Long Goodbye but even simpler) - Well Ben "anyone" Stein has a great piece on the UAL bankruptcy which develops a thought I've had for some time: wasn't UAL employee owned? And since the answer was yes, then what happens during bankruptcy where the equity position is eliminated - the answer is of course, VERY BAD THINGS. We saw this in PG&E's bankruptcy here in CA, but that was a strategic move on the part of a generally well to do company trying to finagle its way out of regulations it found less than incredibly profitable (sure 20% ROE is something most companies only dream of but once you've had that forever it's not good enough) - UAL on the other hand was the parent company. And it's employees were the owners, pinched on the pensions and pinched on the bankruptcy, they're left with nothing, litterally. Problem is, the ones running the company for them made out like bandits.

What we see here is a major flaw with the bankruptcy process in the US. It's not, as some would have us believe, hilljacks and farmers trying to get out of some bad loans or a year wasted on crystal meth purchases instead of seeking gainful employment, it's essentially turned into a trump card for the strategically aware and well prepared to radically reallocate real old fashioned capital, yes, the kind marx wrote about and in theory what we've based our economy on.

I'm fascinated by the games played in bankruptcy courts, by the jurisdictional BS that goes on, the turning on the head of standard law etc. Contract? Only if we want it to be. Jurisdiction? nope. not profitable for us over there any more, we want to be over here...

Clearly, there are lots of very confusing games to be played, states of incorporation, interstate commerce, etc. The joke is, and Stein hits this on the money, that the people that run these companies into the ground frequently end up with significant equity stakes in what they have "miraculously" ridden from the ashes of what they have destroyed.

I for one feel that Congress needs to act. Enough of this BS on class action lawsuits ruining our country, I believe the role of tort is legitimate, what I'm not convinced has a place in the American economy is an equity role for management in a bankruptcy proceeding - that's what debters in possession are for.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

shuttlebutt

so, I went to the house school and I was, oh, about 12 when this all went down. that woulda been 7th grade. i have a feeling i got in trouble for making light of the situation - this was, after all, what spawned the Need Another Seven Astronauts jokes. Janet Kretchmer was really pissed off at me for not setting a good example. I guess looking back on it all the teachers were freaked out because the whole school was crammed into a room watching the TV and there were crazy mixes of ages and levels of comprehension - how do you handle boys that think explosions are cool and kids that cannot even comprehend what death is. Such are the perils of the house school I guess...as I remember there were only 5 seventh graders at the time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

helava

i have been having a heluva time posting to this blog lately, when my time permits (which has been hard to come by) I seem to be unable to post rather large text only posts...grrr

anyway, it means my better rants have been missing from cyberspace.

I've been on the road a lot lately, was in LA on sunday, dc on mon and tues, back for a few, hoping to see some outta towners on sat, then split for tahoe wed, back mon night to DC on tues back on wed until a friday return. there for 1 week then back for a trip to monterey, then I have a week off before heading to San Jose (which I go back to in 10 more days). it just keeps going....someday I'll see what I can do in terms of visiting policy wonks....

a.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

testing

my patience. I've tried to post a nice long blog about my last weeked for 4 days now...grrrr. FINALLY I get one to work, now I have to find the draft I saved.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

there are a lot of things I need to catch up on...

but this is keeping me from getting to them.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

ruminations on nature and light

"Outside is pure energy and colorless substance," he said. "All of the rest happens through the mechanism of our senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light in the world. It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not exist outside of human beings."
this quote is from albert hofmann, who discovered LSD in 1938 or thereabouts. he's 100 right now.

For him, LSD was a drug that helped him realize the incredible power of being one with nautre. It's a very interesting idea I think, that a drug could awaken people to the power of nature. I wonder how much of his perception is based on an impressed ideology from childhood experiences (he speaks of hikes as a child being formative for example). I suspect his concerns for children of cities is based on the lack of rooting in those early experiences. I suppose this is why we take children to parks, because they need to experience on some level, lack of walls, ground that doesn't hurt, green (at least as we perceive it - which may better be described as being surrounded by something that takes that energy from the sun and puts it to such amazing use), room to run, and time to disregard if we so chose.
It does make one wonder what the damage from sterility may cause. laboratory white boxes stacked on filthy streets does not imbue a sense of attachedness to the earth as a remarkable place at all now does it?

Friday, January 06, 2006

the italian man in malta, and other stories

Salim is back in the blogosphere (is sphere really phair? I dunno). but he posted a nice piece on duchamp's pisser, and this bit on johnny cage.

Well sure, that's art. but what about this????

chicago loses another great....hey waitaminit

Lou Rawles died in LA? whassup widdat? He only came to Chicago for fundraisers? I feel cheated.

mad props to the nytimes for THIS.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

just when I thought it was safe to mock roberston

I realized that yes, he does have the power to kill people, especially for splitting his land. that's the deal. now, as for causing strokes, well, pat's not technically that powerful no matter what he tells the morons that believe him.

this was also choice:

In discussing what he said was God's insistence that Israel not be divided, Robertson also referred to the 1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who had sought to achieve peace by giving land to the Palestinians. ''It was a terrible thing that happened, but nevertheless he was dead,'' he said.

life in the suburbs

So, we have these racist neighbors in san rafael, and it's very upsetting to them that our truck is parked on the street. Mind you, it's in front of our house. They've taken to calling the police if it, in their mind, has not been moved in three days.

Well, that was irritating, but it gets worse:

Lately, having been unsucessful in getting our truck to move from their neighborhood (and us with it I suppose) they've taken to calling in the complaint to the city, then removing the notice that it's been called in, in the hope that we'll get towed.

What really irritates me about this (aside from the NIMBYism run amok) is that I don't drive my truck because I take the bus to work, or I ride my bike. Now, isn't the whole point to not clog up the freeways? So I have a vehicle for the times when I might need one (like this saturn's day, when we'll be burning xmas trees at the beach), but why should I have to drive every day just because my neighbors want me to?

Luckily the San Rafael police have been surprisingly cool about this, having acknowledged that someone is messing with me, they've documented that it appears someone has been removing the notices. My point is that eventually I should be able to catch them, and hopefully have them arrested, having demonstrated a pattern of abuse.

I will rest easy the day I know they've ben made someone's bitch just down the street in San Quentin; then I'll have their car towed.

Monday, January 02, 2006

hyrkanian demi-vowels

So this is how I spend my days off?

I've a tendency to assume simple answers are correct so I'm inclined to say, despite the linguist musings, that hyrkanian demi-vowels are the ya (backwards r) in Russian, and nothing more. Sure, you can argue dipthong as hamfisted (hammouthed?) vs. Sonia, but I'm inclined to believe the conversation is the writer's trick for pronunciation rather than anything else. As far as the demi-vowel goes, keep in mind that in addition to the 70s being the cold war era, we were all taught there were five vowels plus sometimes y. Sometimes y means sometimes vowel and sometimes demi-vowel, because demi is a cool prefix in comics (think demigods). Oversimplified yes, but these were comics. Now, there are clearly some pretty well thought out elements of the stories, but most of these center on place and mythology, not linguistics.
That said, there are some pretty interesting place specific aspects to the story that make Sonya Russian (aside from the gut reaction to the name). She's from the steppes, which are in Russia, at least as much as you could have red hair and be from the steppes (i.e. not mongolian). Furthermore, Hyberian is isn't far off of Hyperborian or Siberian (in fact, it's a conjunction of the two). Both hyperboria and siberia are mysterious cold northern places and potentially steppe-ish.

hyrkanian demi-vowels etc.

THIS is a totally awesome post. In the sense that I am totally lame, and find it totally awesome. Immediate thoughts were of Lissa K., my non-rembered name of the TA in russian, salim, elisa steinberg and K-E.

whilst browsing the interweb to learn of terrifying things

There are some amazing people out there. A lot of them are amazingly stupid. A sure fire way to appear amazingly stupid (oh, and to be amazingly stupid at the exact same time) is to state publicly, for the record, what God really means (I guess when he "says" something) and what people really mean by their actions in the context of Godness or Godosity or however they call that.

Here's my current top of the list of I cannot believe someone actually typed this out:

"What reason can we find for gayness that's not applicable for heterosexuals also?

"Well, because I'm a nice guy, I'll go ahead a give you the reason so you don't have to go around asking your fundamentalist friends: You hate God. No really, that's it. You just want to spite the Maker by dangling your queerness all up in His face. Don't worry, though, you're not alone. That is pretty much the only reason why anyone ever does Bad Stuff. You may have heard these people say they believe everything happens for a reason. They are lying. Things happen because God says they do, and their caricature of Him isn't fond of giving reasons."

Now, aside from great lines like dangling your queerness all up in His face" which might be the best line I've read in a long time, this guy's post is just awesome, it's really hard to say what this person believes until you get to this great line, then you get the impression that they know a lot less than they believe but they're pretty danged sure they know a lot because they believe mightily.

I won't bother with a link because they don't deserve one. I found the site after a link in another random blog where you copy the text of the 5th sentence of the 23rd page of the first book you pick up and put in on the internet for everyone to randomly read out of context. I was tricked into thinking they weren't creepy protletizers because the book they quoted from had greek gramar in the title.

It does sadden me when someone can say such moronic stuff right next to something I think is funny and generally agree with (in the abstract of course):

"The standard fallback, as it is with many problematic theological questions, is that the existence of Hell is "mysterious." This is not really true. We know exactly what the Eternal Capital Punishment Compound is there for, according to "orthodox" theology. It's there for a jealous and vindictive deity to slaughtor folks who don't play for the right team. (Curiously, God sends people to Hell for the same reasons humans throughout history have thought he should. Mysterious, indeed.) I wouldn't want to be his buddy if he were a person walking the earth (and rightly so, says the Good Book), but heck, he's our malevolent omnipotent deity, so we're signing up for the show."

Sunday, January 01, 2006

when new is old

hey, guess what? that's right: a whole new year is starting. I'm beginning to think this is a habit.