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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

net neutrality paper

Those who interact with me on a somewhat regular basis know my concerns about the future of the Internet and its place as a driver of the economy all bundled up in the principle of net neutrality.
In fact net neutrality has been a focus of mine for the past several months and looks like it will remain so for at least the next few.
I've generally been unhappy with the quality of information on the subject that's easily available, but I'm happy to report running into Gigi Sohn at the Senate hearing on net neutrality earlier this month. Her organization, Public Knowledge, has managed to put together a pretty good paper on the subject. I feel it compliments the prepared testimony for the Senate hearing.

Separate from that hearing (what with my not being in the Senate and all) I helped organize two panels on the same subject at NARUC's winter meeting in DC, one of which I moderated. I'm generally happy with how they turned out, and especially happy with the quality of the panelists we assembled.

It appears this debate will continue for some time, and despite the fact that much of what I post here is not work related, this issue has been one I have spent enough time on that it counts as post worthy in this forum.

Monday, February 20, 2006

still hungry?

"Processors say treated ground meat can be sold for 28 days after leaving the plant, and solid cuts for 35 days."

this from the nytimes piece on treating "red" meat with carbon monoxide (yes) to keep it red longer.

also, the brown meat in the article is only "2 weeks" old. so, as cargill would like us to believe, it's only brown because it wasn't stored in car exhaust. conversely, it's red so that you'll buy it a month after it was killed.

this goes right to the heart of my personal concerns about factories making food instead of people. No butcher would sell month old beef (unless you're talking about that nasty place in brooklyn near where mary and I went to dominique's wedding...that was nasty), but a giant meat processor would be nowhere close to where the end user would every be purchasing the "food".

makes me glad I had bindi and channa masala for dinner today....

Sunday, February 19, 2006

windows vs. the world

Much frustration with the IT department at the PUC, which, despite knowing I was going to DC over a month ago waited until the day I returned to give me my treo 700w. I have to say, there are aspects of the new OS that are good, but for the most part Windows is a pain in the ass to use on a mobile device. I don't mind a few extra clicks on a desktop, especially when most of the windows shortcuts go to things I don't want or need to use. But in a handheld environment, it's a serious pain to have to push three or four buttons (or worse, select tiny print from a popup menu) to get to commonly used functions. Palm's OS is far superior in this regard.

This is not to say that Windows is without charm; I'm very happy with some of the flow through of options (for example the contacts opens from call history so that you can try someone's mobile quite easily if they don't answer their desk phone). But for the most part, the phone's best feature is outlook/ie. lame but true.

catching up on some stories

whirlwind flash and travel have been the keywords for the past two weeks, but much has been noteworthy during all that time.

A few things worth mentioning:

My housekeeping person at the hyatt was happy with my parting tip; so much so that she left me a small note and a necklace/charm. She was really nice during my entire stay, always apologetic if I was in when she knocked, friendly in the halls, and of course good about the unit. I felt compelled to write a brief note back saying thanks for the gift and kind words.

I got some hellacious cough in DC, lost my voice for a few days first, then got a fever when I came back to SF. First time I've had the outward appearance (well, sound) if sickness in a while. At first I thought I just lost my voice from too much talking at NARUC, but no.

I took advantage of getting out of DC a bit early to have lunch during my layover in Chicago with T-Dub (aka tom windish) - things are going well on that front, met his newest employee and caught a quick lunch in Wicker Park - I was hoping to relish in being absurdly over dressed for the area in getting off the CTA I was amazed to see people is suits etc. all over the place. absurd I say. absurd. I gather Tom'll be out here for noise pop and am looking forward to that. Was sad to learn I just missed Deanna playing with Bobby Bare Jr. that evening (not that it woulda worked anyway, but if I'd gotten slammed in the fast approaching storm it mighta been nice).

Jay Primus was kind enough to set up a group excursion to see Philip Glass perform a live soundtrack to Koyanisqatsi at Davies hall (not ray, in case you were wondering). Much to my frustration we paid a premium for an obstructed view seat. Though I think some of our fellow viewers were a bit bummed at the very polite fuss I put up, Mary and I (along with a random person with an even worse seat that ours) were rewarded with very nice loge seats in the middle of the hall. My props to Performances.org for handling the situation so well. I offered to Anita, their publicist, my services (free of charge) for line of sight orientation etc. at future shows - and exclaimed I felt I must have done something kharmicly wrong to end up with a view obstructed seat when I in fact manage the projection aspects of live sound performances to silent films. I feel very strongly that if a ticket isn't sold as view obstructed then it shouln't have an obstructed view, especially when a film is involved.

There are many other things I want to write about, but they're best put in different posts as they fall outside of the "catching up" mode that I'm in with regard to the blog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

more on shooting off

some spectacular quotes from the nytimes piece on Dick Cheney's little "accident"

"Sheriff Salinas said he sent his chief deputy, Gilbert Sanmiguel, to the Armstrong Ranch that night. He said Mr. Sanmiguel interviewed Mr. Cheney and reported that the shooting was an accident.

The sheriff said Sunday that they had yet to speak to "the victim." "But you could say it's closed," Mr. Salinas said of the case."


ummm....haven't talked to the victim? let's see, a guy gets shot by the vice president and they just conveniently don't ask him what happened? This strikes me as the kind of one sided information that got us into this war with texan lawyers to begin with....oh no wait... I mean the rest of the world.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

getting shot by the veep

Cheney Accidentally Shoots Fellow. Right-O chap. sorry about that. I can only assume the blogosphere is having a blast with this one. wish I had the time to check it out...

Friday, February 10, 2006

seven years is not enough

frankly speaking, ms. jackson, who starved her adoptive children to the point where a 19 year old weighed only 45 pounds, should be starved to death. seven years is not enough, seven years for each of those boys is not enough.

one of the boys said "have fun in jail" - fuck that, she should be forced to starve to death over the longest possible time medically possible - give her an iv with the amino acids she needs to have her body eat itself to nothing. I cannot believe that all the court could give her was 7 years.

Really, it hurts my sensibilities as a human to think such a person could exist and be respected by her peers. That people stood up on her behalf is an abomination of humanity. People that claim to be religious speaking about her love of children - they should be praying she goes to hell not saying she deserves a break. As it stands, I hope they find themselves there with her for taking the stand in her defense.

I honestly do not believe people that evil should be allowed to live.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

simple machines

twoomy had it right. simple machines are the best. Just as first principles are. Looking forward to reading Howard Furchgott-Roth's book "A Hard Act to Follow" on the implementation of the 96 Act, which apparently focuses on separations of powers and implementation of legislsation by independent agencies.

Also, somewhat unrelated, I'm in love with inertia. In particular, at the moment I'm rather taken with flywheels.

I would like to experiment with rotational inertial in the cycling world. In particular I'm interested with rotating masses and their distance from the center of the rotation, especially with regard to intra ride redistribution of weight toward the rims from the hub and the hour record.

speaking of inertia, I'm off to the hill...

making up my mind is hard to do

I'm finding myself in positions where it's increasingly difficult to made a decision. Snowboarding: which route to take down the hill. Work: who to meet with on a particular issue. Reading the online version of the NYTimes, which link to click.

Here were my choices:

2006 motorcycle show highlights

leader of hezbollah tells Bush to "shut up"

Sly Stone plays grammys

I selected the Sly Stone article. I am a huge fan of "there's a riot going on", which I like more than "stand" by quite a bit. Sly seems to be more aware of problems, interpersonal and societal (it's a family affair is one of those gems I hold on par with the home is where the hatred is from pieces of a man by gil scott-heron) in a way that tempers his obvious love for life and people in there's a riot going on. It just speaks to me very strongly.

I was happy to read that he sported a mohawk, but sad to hear that he didn't make it all the way through his song. I don't blame him for bailing like I would with say, Chan Marshal, but mostly I think of him more like Bundy k. Brown (now ken I guess). Though I doubt bundy would have ever said yes to begin with...

In any event, I have no clue what the details on the shut up article are.

at my funeral...

...people can do whatever the hell they want.
I find the attempt to vilify the political nature of someone's funeral terrible. It's rightly left to the family and friends of the departed to conduct a funeral as they see fit. If that's shitting on the current administration (in the case of CS King) or rallying organized labor (in the case of Wellstone) then deal with it.

It is not anyone's right to tell the family and friends of someone who has died what their loved one's life should mean to them.

Furthermore, Bush should have realized that going to a non-voilence advocating dissident's funeral was opening himself up to criticism for being a warmonger. Frankly the GOP needs to realize it's lost the minority vote with it's policies (most recently on the imigration front, but also the urban front) and cut its losses in those situations where it feels the risk of a boondoggle may be worth a little PR help. I'd like to know whose idea it was for him to go. I hope they learned a lesson.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

more snowboarding

this time, in hawaii!!! gotta love the big island.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

if you're feeling sinister

so here are a few tidbits related to music:

the nytimes had a great review of belle and sebastian, which was sort of about their new album but certainly agreed with my view that if you're feeling sinister is their best album.

calexico is one of those bands that used to do it for me some of the time. now they do it for me most of the time.

my cousin is moving to portland.

serendipity about music feels more natural (maybe less creepy is a better way of saying it) than any other kind of serendipity out there. this is a fact.

luke mantle turned me on to the dub trio and I thought to myself "am i that out of the loop?" dubwise they are perfect for my dubsense.

I suddenly realized that sacha farra-jones (I'm probably spelling that wrong) the music writer is the sams sacha that is UI. this made me like his reviews even more than I otherwise would.

kurt is sick but in what seems like typical kurt fashion is working right through it. Still, and despite the lack of closeness, I worry about him.

Willy T has put out a new album that I really love without have even heard but hasn't yet sent me a copy. This is probably kharma.

Deanna's new stuff is really good.

I'm really hopeful that I can take some time off from work to go on tour with califone this fall.

bolsinga rages, rages against the caltrain's flight

My CalTrain love poem:
CalTrain takes me to work
CalTrain gets me home to my love
Love has no time schedule


not sure how i missed this in the original read of the posting, but snotted carrots out my nose when I read it today.

the stones become fast together

so one of my favorite toasts ever is the one about the temple which is societal life. I learned it in Armenia on a hike in the Caucuses in 2000, and the speaker was one of those people that loved to draw people in with a toast (and Vodka, during a lunch in the middle of a hike). The story was told in the shadow of an old chapel (7th-10th century as I remember, and long abandoned, but still used for some local activities - there were the remanants of a sacraficed chicken there on the hilltop).

It went like this; and I do it no justice by being short about it:

The people in our lives are stones. Those people we have know for a long time are foundational stones in the temple that is our life. The new friends we meet build the temple higher and strengthen the bonds between the stones upon which they are built.

Well, this weekend I spent some time with some old stones (and a new one in Brian, who is good peeps for sure) and I must say, wow - we are a great bunch. I laughed harder than I have in a long time (maybe since the last time we were together) and mostly just enjoyed that we've all been together for so long and turned into great adults from the great kids we were in high school.

I feel very lucky to count Bill, Luke, Jason and Paul among my friends and am happy to shoot coffee or beer out of my nose to prove it.

To prove that I actually did more than just drink beer. Here are some pics:

forthcoming after ftp problems are cleaned up

Saturday, February 04, 2006

heavenly

i am sore today from snowboarding all day yesterday. and I have a sunburned nose because it was perfectly sunny all day. the double black diamonds were a bit hectic in the shaded areas but once the sun softened things up everything was great. I spent most of the day in the blues and black diamonds. The boys are way better than I am, but I do my best to make up for it by being nutso.
I'll get picks up soon.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

speaking of running with scissors

awl, shucks.

bridges, tunnels

According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, there were 702 cases of people on the tracks between 1990 and 2003. Over half of them resulted in deaths.

Now, why do we worry about making bridges harder to kill oneself with when the subway will to it for you with such regularity? Seriously though, it's one of those "what exactly bunches the undies?" questions.

Is it because the bridges are also thought of as things of beauty that we're so worried about alternative uses whilst the subway is underground and animal like? more dangerous feeling? I dunno. Seem to me they're both key transportation elements.