Bear Droppings
Friday, October 31, 2003
Some days inspiritation comes easy like yesterday I found material for 6 posts without trying, other days inspiration is hidden away like WMDs in the Iraqi desert and I left wondering if I'll ever find it. I hope I will find it as I need it for in less than 24 hours from now begins NaNoWrMo or I call it NaNo for short. Yes, I abbreviate an abbreviation maybe I lived in DC for too long. Point is 50,000 words of inspiration I'm looking for in the next 30 days, I know where some of it is hiding, a lot of it I don't and perhaps that will be the adventure finding it along the way. I have accepted I'll write a large amount of garbage in this first draft, but it's a necessary step. Of course saying that and believing it 15 days from now will be two entirely different things. Or maybe not.

I have had this feeling before, the nights before I have started long trips, so I take it as a bit of comfort now that same old feeling of unknown, just around the bend. The moment before discovery of something new or rather exploration of something old but familar myself.

Just a few hours and I can feel it.

I can't wait.
Wednesday, October 29, 2003
Camille Paglia has an interview in Salon today, it's not bad but I think she has been locked in her academic tower for too long and needs to get out and see more of the web it is evident she isn't really reading it enough.

I always respect the frankness of her opinions even when I think they are completely wrong. The political views represented are interesting, but I don't think she has many original sources these days. Her negative impression of Rumsfeld especially ignoring the recent memo issue where he had the guts to say what are we doing wrong and how do we improve seemed like something you would think she'd respect, so I was bit confused with her response.

What surprised me more was the lack of interest in blogs, she had a rather intellectual elitism to them. I agree I frequently dive into "Bad prose, endless reams of bad prose!" but you know there has to be a lot of coal to hit diamonds, more importantly it's a fertile new field for writers to make their mark. Her complete dismissal smacks of someone who is not getting out on the web and reading enough, because frankly there are a lot of good things out here.

Worse yet she is severely confused on the difference between a blog and a columnist.
"Now and then one sees the claim that Kausfiles was the first blog. I beg to differ: I happen to feel that my Salon column was the first true blog. My columns had punch and on-rushing velocity. They weren't this dreary meta-commentary, where there's a blizzard of fussy, detached sections nattering on obscurely about other bloggers or media moguls and Washington bureaucrats."
She seems to think herself writing a blog and while a blog may share some of those characteristics, she never linked to other sites in her column as I recall or did she run it with random regularity. I don't intend posting everyday most bloggers don't, but by and large bloggers post at variable intervals depending on subject material, time, and issue of the day.

She goes on to say
"As a writer, I'm inspired not just by other writing but by music and art and lines from movies. I think that's what's missing from a lot of blogs. Most bloggers aren't culture critics but political or media junkies preoccupied with pedestrian minutiae and a sophomoric "gotcha" mentality. I find it depressing and claustrophobic. The Web is a wide open space -- voices on it should have energy and vision."

This statement I whole heartily agree with the intent that healthy cultural perspectives is developed from a number of media, but she missing the point that blogs have it. Jen posts her song lyrics, moblogs are capturing moments filled with energy and vibe, or even my own minor efforts of Poetry Wednesday to remind people about poems, all of this entails people working and contributing to culture so if she doesn't see it I suspect she isn't really looking.

But even more arrogant, which has always been an admitted Pagila trait, is that she seems to imply blogging could be done a lot better, a point I am willing to concede. I will concede the point if she starts a blog and shows us how it's done, otherwise her words are just sour grapes of intellectual elitism

"that it could be so much better, *SNIFF* only if..."

Afterwards - Instapundit points to a lot of other people that were not impressed by her words. I suppose that does demostrate one point that her rants do still have an impact, otherwise why would we bother to discuss them.
Yet another reason, why I am working hard to get away from ever again purchasing another M$ product. This just motivates me a bit more to move my entire home office set up to Linux/Mac.

Someone please buy Microsoft a clue.

(Thanks Accordion Guy who has a great blog, check it out if you get the chance)
Funny of the Week at JOHO
Poetry Wednesday
Two days until the beginning of a foolish endeavors, so let's salute fools this week...

“Thou art a fool,” said my head to my heart,
“Indeed, the greatest of fools thou art,
To be led astray by the trick of a tress,
By a smiling face or a ribbon smart;”
And my heart was in sore distress.

Then Phyllis came by, and her face was fair,
The light gleamed soft on her raven hair;
And her lips were blooming a rosy red.
Then my heart spoke out with a right bold air:
“Thou art worse than a fool, O head!”
- Paul Dunbar

One technology I figure I'll have to add when I do my site redesign soon is RSS or similar syndicating technology. I know I have said this about the site redesign coming soon but funding issues and preparations for NaNo are holding off the work until December, hopefully I'll have something put together for the New Year. A lot of blogs have it these days but it hasn't hooked me yet. Maybe I misunderstand the technology of it, which is all too possible, but it seems the reader makes it look like a listserv. That if you use a reader you lose the sidebar with the blogrolls and other potential sidebar content, which is always interesting to me to go see who BloggerX is reading. Anyone know of a good primer on the technology and what the RSS readers provide I would like to be alittle better informed. I have read some on it, but I am more looking for a RSS for Dummies site.
If there is one thing that surprises me working at this hotel is how often I hear complaints about the view, which would not be surprising perhaps if I worked the day shift, but I start my workday at 11pm at night.
Monday, October 27, 2003
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.43
1. Have you ever had your work (online of off) used without your permission? What was used and how did you resolve it?
Hahaha, no noone has taken my words serious enough to steal and that is just fine.

2. Have you ever copied somebody else's work into your own without requesting permission? Did you feel OK about that? How did things turn out? No.

3. Are there any similarities or differences (in general) to someone using my work without permission or compensation and downloading and sharing music without doing the same? Can you justify one and not the other? No there aren't similularities one is promoting the use and recognition of an artists work, unless you try to republish it as your own material. Radio stations in theory pay to promote specfic artists work so home listening is completely different.

4. In the US, yesterday most of us had to set our clocks back an hour for DST. Do you have "Daylight Savings Time" where you live? Do you like it? Does your body adjust well to it? In Arizona we don't have DST so we just leave the clocks the same time which works for me just fine, it's less of a hassle. One hour time difference and having to adjust your body that is silly no difference really it takes at least a 3hour jump for my body to notice a time difference anything less isn't really a big deal.

5. Last week I had to use a blade razor to shave because I misplaced my electric shaver charger. I never shave my whiskers with a blade so I got cut up pretty bad. All is well now, but I won't give up my 'lectric without a fight. Do you shave? At what age did you start? Do you use a blade or an electric? What do you shave (face, chin, legs, ears, etc)? Do you shave in the shower/bath or at the sink? I have a beard so I only shave the edges once or twice a week the top bit of my face and the very bottom just enough to keep it neat and clean. It's warmer especially with Winter approaching and I like the look better.

6. What do you think about the religious groups that get so upset when everyone celebrates Halloween? They need to relax and take things a little less serious. While originally of pagan origin it's part of Carnival as well in New Orleans, Koln, and Rio so I think of it as a great excuse to have fun.

7. Are you dressing up for Halloween? If so, as what? Yes, I am going to a party, it will likely be a conceptional costume, but that is all I am saying now. I was hoping Arnuld would lose just so I could have gone as him "I kind of let myself go after the election", but I think I have found a decent replacement idea.

BONUS:How can I explain when there are few words I can choose? Simple ones, those words known as the Truth.
Sunday, October 26, 2003
More on California Fires
Phonecamera pictures of the fires in SoCal

Satellite pictures of SoCal

(From BoingBoing)
Another Clueless Group launches it's "Search Inside the Book" service and while part of me is fearful that they will use a patent on the idea to stop others from using it. That point aside I think it's a wonderful tool and yet another way the power of the internet can get information into people's hands. Naturally an industry group comes out and doesn't like the idea even though they admit it will likely not hurt midlist and smaller sales titles. They seem to think it would hurt reference and cookbooks, which seems silly considering that certain reference standards have made themselves freely available online. As for cooking I don't know about you but with google or Food TV I never lack in recipes when I am trying to decide what to cook for dinner. No, if I found I like certain cook's recipes I am all the more likely to buy the title or put them on my Amazon wishlist, which is what I have done with some of Alton Brown's titles. The Author's Guild has it wrong the reality of this new service is not one that will hurt authors, rather it helps one find the information you are looking for and when has that ever hurt sales?
Saturday, October 25, 2003
James Traub pretends to be a moderate and then uses that slant to trash Republicans in today's New York Times. Truth is I don't know what his real political view is, but it doesn't represent the center that I know.

He states "For those of us of hopelessly moderate temperament, dipping into the inky depths of these volumes[Pundit Publishing, my words not his]offers something of the wicked and barely licit pleasures of a Victoria's Secret catalogue."

Well I am sorry but most people I have met between my time in DC, Arizona and all points between are sick to death of such drivel. These books may well make it on the NY Times bestsellers list, but I don't know anyone reading them.

But after that comment he goes on to blame the Republicans for the modern state of politics. Truth is both parties have made their political doctrine one of love your party first and be an American later, rather than American first, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green or whatever party second.

Moderates, from my experience, are sick of it from both parties which is why I think you see unlikely candidates like Ventura and Schwarzenegger coming into political power. Sure in Schwarzenegger had party backing, but he was not percieved as a traditional political candidate by voters.

While Traub starts from the center but then a Democrat bias comes out strong throughout the piece. Just before ending in a partisan political oneliner he says "It's satisfying; but I don't see how it can be a good thing, either for public debate or ultimately for the electoral prospects of the Democrats, to have liberals descend to the level of rabid conservatives."

At least Traub acknowledges that it is not a good thing for public debate, but he deludes himself into thinking this is a recent action. From Bork to the recent Estrada nomination this has been part and parcel of the Demcrats agenda. From my point of view moderates are holding politicans to a higher standard of debate, one that neither party is currently willing to deliver.

Interesting article in the New York Times about the changing face of computing. It's not particularly new, I have been reading online or in Wired of customized cases, some to very extreme efficiencies (overclocking and cooling mechanisms) others just to make them fit into the decor of a particular room. Mostly my take is that we are moving away from this being the generic office space desktop item into a permanent aesthetic resource or tool around the house. Bruce Sterling talks about this in Tomorrow Now, how we are moving objects to become more comfortable within are life both in styling and colors. He gives examples of pens, iBook, or the new Beetle. Wireless and increasingly smaller computer sizes also have a role to play.

It's funny that we never got to doing similar things with televisions until recently, sure in the 50-60s having a cabnient for it was common place. But for the majority of my lifetime America has let it's family rooms become dominated by this big box and the images it displays, only in the last 4-5 years have I noticed new homes being built with shelving space or hutches for a television assumed. At the same time because of the computing revolution we are seeing flat screen televisions finally approaching mass consumer market price levels. As these flat screens become more common place it will be interesting to see how homes and families will adopt this new availability of space into their lives.
Good Luck Rancho Cucamonga
Western fires always get my attention, I can relate since I live where such fires can be very dangerous, but the fire in Rancho Cucamonga strikes a little closer to home, as I was looking at the map I realized this one was within 5-6 miles of a house where I used to live and the ashes from that fire mostly likely fell in the yard. That region is right by a Cajun pass so when the Santa Ana winds kick up as they are predicting this weekend a lot of the houses that border may catch fire. If the winds get fierce they easily may loose a few housing developments, by that I don't mean houses, I mean blocks and blocks of homes. Good luck.
Friday, October 24, 2003
Following the EFF action alert I followed up with my Congressional members. I was impressed at how far Renzi's website had developed, perhaps best of all it offered Spanish and Navajo versions. Very astute for our district good luck Representative Renzi. While only an English (and German) speaker I was impressed with your outreach efforts to speak to other voices in the district.

Now only if we can get him and his staff to start a blog...
I saw alot of Charles Krauthammer on DC TV and Newspaper and generally just thought another typical DC pundit but reading today's column on Gregg Easterbrook it struck me as 'Wow, when will he have a blog'? Let's hope soon. (via Jeff Jarvis)
I spent a good chunk of my free work time instead of web browsing working on a writing exercise not related to NaNo, but on a cyberpunk bent. About half way through it, I stopped read it and thought to myself this is total shit. I don't mean that in a good way, but at the end of the night I finished with roughly 2200 words. It was a struggle to get there, I still enjoyed it because maybe after 20 or 30 drafts it may yet yield a decent story. Okay, kidding not EVEN that quickly, but more seriously I freed myself to write badly and NaNo is only a first draft of things to come. And accepting ugly, nasty first drafts is a necessary ego trip I think for the path I want, need to take. So take an ugly path, but stay true to your dream.
Thursday, October 23, 2003
Remember Gator is Spyware!
Jen points to this article on DC culture and for the most part he's on the mark for what life there is like as a city.

My caveats making that statement is for Hill life badges aren't something proudly worn, just the opposite only interns wear them with any sense of pride. I think the other point he missed is that networking for work is a big deal and the events you can get yourself invited to matters, i.e. among some of the Germanophil crowd thought I could get into nearly any event and I suppose if sneaking in counts maybe I could. ;) But getting invites to events (inauguration), especially for other people, was perceived as a big deal as another example.
It's official Hollywood has run out of ideas.
I am Special or the rules don't apply to me
We all tend to think that at one time or another, I did tonight but what is funny way I got there. New manager has started the typical management company memos, you know the Thou Shall Nots.

Park in place A Now if I worked during the day with others I'd probably park there, there is nothing wrong with the spot, except in the middle of the night the car would sit all alone with no security to check up on it. We have had a lot of cars being broken into locally as well so I disregard the memo and park in with the guests where at least it's one amongst a number of targets.

Eat only in Room B If I could get someone to cover my breaks at say 3-4am then sure, maybe I should call the New Manager and ask him to cover for me.

Smoke in place C I don't smoke too often at work cigars burn too long for a quick break, but if I were to I'd smoke by the front door/desk, why? No one else to watch the property.

So it brings me to that point. One of the minor points of this job is none of the standard proceedures do apply to you. Since 90%+ of my work time is spent alone at the moment I change the rules to make them fit what I need to accomplish. Perhaps that is one of the few real benefits of this job, intangable as it is, that even in a corporate organization with standardized practices and policies, Night Audit is special and your rules don't apply to me...
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Day by Day, why hasn't it been picked up by every major paper in the country, it's simply the best comic running today. Go read it already.
EFF has an action alert on the Broadcast Flag issue, if you care about freedom do yourself a favor and go here and send the FCC a note, it will only take a few seconds.

The best line about the flag may be from Instapundit who says "they're trying to keep people from "stealing" stuff that they can't seem to give away."

In a nutshell Hollywood is asking for protection from what might occur someday and in the process hamstring personal freedom to timeshift a program "Tivo", transfer it from one device to another "Honey, let's watch it in the bedroom instead of the computer room", and lock down the potential of computing power in the future.

For more background on the issue here is my my take on the National Journals' Silicon Valley vs. Hollywood program a year ago June that directly addressed the issue. I also did a writeup of a Department of Commerce hearing I attended last year. While it was not the primary point of the hearing it did come up for discussion at the time.

Protectism by any other name...
From the Only in California Department
A smoke free cigar bar, of course to me that means it's not a cigar bar, but only in California can you have a smoke free smoking bar.

Defies logic, no? Well that is California I suppose.
Okay I got Jen doing NaNo, who is next, come on it's fun, it will be just a meer 50,000 words in a month, only 1,667 words a day. It will be fun, it will be mad, it will be Nano. Everyone has a story to tell in life and this is your big chance to do it.

Planning rages away for me asking friends about Singapore, characters under development, and reading up on cyberpunk just to be sure I'll have the right tone. The Biotech/Nanotech material in the story will probably be my weakest part that will have to be more in depth researched in future drafts, but that is for December and the New Year for now it's characters, characters, characters, and a bit of fine tuning on the plot.
Poetry Wednesday
Since Autumn hints on not so distant peaks and soon will visit Oak Creek Canyon this seemed a wonderful thought for the season. Love autumn, can't wait for it's arrival to the Northland.

A Vagabond Song
There is something in the autumn that is native to my blood—
Touch of manner, hint of mood;
And my heart is like a rhyme,
With the yellow and the purple and the crimson keeping time.

The scarlet of the maples can shake me like a cry
Of bugles going by.
And my lonely spirit thrills
To see the frosty asters like a smoke upon the hills.

There is something in October sets the gypsy blood astir;
We must rise and follow her,
When from every hill of flame
She calls and calls each vagabond by name.
- Bliss Carman

I think yesterday's illness was caused by dust or something in the ventilation system, which dumps out at the front desk. My reasoning is that while I was having insomnia yesterday I didn't really feel sick and within 30 minutes of sitting at the desk last night I could feel my bodies immune system going nuts again.

Let's hope that is a temporary thing...
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
This is rather disturbing. Big Brother here we, oh too late, already here.
If it's Tuesday it Must be Insomnia...
The downside of having days off was it let me accomplish somethings I had been meaning to but hadn't had the chance during my workweek.

Downside, you ask, yes downside.

Because now my body has decided it doesn't want to sleep when I'd like it to... so I complied and made some tasty veggie wraps, garlic, cumin, and peppers oh my! Let's hope we can come to an accommodation and get some sleep soon, otherwise I'll be a very unhappy camper tonight...

Afterthought... Maybe the cabin having a temperature of 85 degrees has something to do with the insomnia.
Back at work again, feeling kinda, well yucky is the best word for it. I don't know if this is because on my days off my sleep patterns went wild or I am on the verge of a cold, it may well be the later as the friends I share kitchen and bathroom space have been sick of late. On my days off I didn't accomplish anything except being lazy, but considering how things have been the last month or two perhaps I am due such a weekend.

As has been guessed by certain members of my family I am not all too thrilled with the current job. It's not much of a challenge and the points that do challenge me I scarcely care. People complaining because they don't like the room when there are much large problems in the world, I have a difficult time being sympathetic for, but theory that is part of my job. I am looking for employment a little more in line with my skillset and interests. But as I knew well before I returned back to Arizona, Flagstaff and Sedona do not feature a thriving economy. I have some applications out and we will see how things go, sooner or later something will hit. For the moment I enjoy walking the pup just before sunset, watching the fading light of day across the red rock canyons.
Monday, October 20, 2003
Considering my days off has put my sleep schedule into even weirder than normal, I find myself awake at 6am on a Monday morning, so...

PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.41
1. Have you ever accidentally deleted something from your website or otherwise screwed it up? Share your tales of woe, won't you?
Other than the typical Blogger ate my posts rant, no not really that has not happen to me yet, but my archives are royally screwed up and I haven't a clue how to fix them.

2. When was the last time you did a total backup of your website (including databases) to store offline? Do you have some sort of schedule set up? Yesterday, because of Promoguy's problems I went ahead and backed everything up. No it's not something I regularly do.

3. If your entire site was deleted, and there was no way to restore it, what would you do? Would you start over? Give up? How would it impact your life? Scream bloody murder for an hour or two then get back to my life. I'd be really sore about it, but would have to move on, heck some my archived is lost already.

4. Not having a blog for several days gave me a lot of time to reflect on blogging. I asked myself some serious questions, now it is your turn. Just what do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Why are you doing it? To make the world a better place, to satisfy your own vanity or what? Is the time you spend blogging really "time well spent?" It's a daily writing exercise and little else, I don't really expect to make the A bloggers list, that isn't really the point either. It's more just a place to force me to write nearly everyday.

5. Do you think having your own web site/blog has changed you as a person? No, but it has allowed people to see another side of me and what is going on inside my head.

6. One of the main reasons I get so much "comment spam' is because I've allowed my site to be indexed by Google. One one hand it is great to come up high in the rankings on so many searches, but the drawback is I get a lot of comment trolls and comment spam (hmm, do trolls eat spam?). Do you let Google index your site? Do you often search certain topics on Google to see your rankings? What are some of the good and bad things about being listed in Google? Yes, I have Google index my site. Bear Droppings is the top result on that return, which I find amusing and when I do the site revision soon I'll likely have a link to a picture of bear droppings, just because that is what an occasional person is looking for.

7. I've often thought that I need a "Blog Buddy" and should start up a "Blog Buddy System" site. The idea is based on the same "Buddy System" every child is told about when they go on a field trip. Your Buddy looks out for you, you look out for them. You keep an eye on each other and if something goes wrong, you take charge and help. The "Blog Buddy System" is the same - every blogger has one other blogger who watches out for them. There is 100% total trust between the two. Each allows the other permissions to post on their blog. Each blog has a "Blog Buddy System" icon linking to each other's site, so readers know who your Buddy is. If your Buddy doesn't post for a few days or a week or whatever seems out of character, the Blog Buddy picks up the phone and calls them. There may have been an accident. A family emergency. Or, perish the thought, the death of the Buddy. The Blog Buddy is responsible for carrying out the wishes of their Buddy. Be it logging into the site to make announcements, keeping silent, or closing down their blog. Whatever has been agreed upon, but the Buddies watch out for each other. What do you think of the "Blog Buddy System" idea? Do you have a "Blog Buddy" in your life? Would you like one? Have you ever thought about what would happen to your site if you died and who would tell your readers? I have seen it happened to a friend's site and it worked, but with comments on my blog people can always post if they want to a note in case of emergency so I don't think about it.

BONUS: If you hide away from me how can our love grow? Like a mushroom, in the dark and plenty of fertilizer.

Saturday, October 18, 2003
Draft Wesley! I mean he got to kiss Ashley Judd when she was unknown. I say Wesley for President... (yes rather silly)
Friday, October 17, 2003
DAMN! Hear that sound yup it's the MPAA having a heart attack...
What to feel old? Check out modern kids reactions to Arcade, ahem I hate to use this word, Classics.
Wednesday, October 15, 2003
From the You Can't Make This Up Department
The hotel has a subscription for newspapers, which I try to enjoy each morning before I leave work. This morning I opened the Arizona Republic to discover a newspaper group is going to be meeting in Phoenix today to discuss problems with the media.

While the story gives some indication that newspapers are facing a credibility issue it's the sidebar box that makes this story particularly funny.

It states
"Newspaper editors from all other the United States meet to discuss credibility and other current issues in journalism. Not open to the general public."
I think that last sentence explains the very reason that they HAVE credibility issues.

Important working being done here, you wouldn't understand. Just trust us to think for you.
It's Going to Be a Long Day, Er Night, Er Whatever
The Geniuses in Management wanted to have an employee orientation session for the new management company we have, don't ask long story. The first such session they planned from 11am to 3pm, which while convient for them, is the worst time for me as I sleep days, work nights. I chatted with my direct supervisor and he said "don't worry there will be a second session, I reminded them of when you work we can work it out." Great, so the next session is today from 10am to 2pm, which is still in the middle of my sleep time so I'll be very cranky and awake for a while it looks like.

Worst of all, I read the material as it was sitting out one day, you know a meeting will be painfully boring when they try to liven up stupid questions with cheap graphics.
Tuesday, October 14, 2003
Back from Phoenix
One day in Phoenix for my day off it went better than expected. Not surprising it should be, but funny how people you have known for a long time have the ability to surprise you, so was a friend's memorial service. I had a difficult time speaking, but knew I had to say something. And now we live with the time after, words of Warren Zevon echo so simply but complete in my mind "Enjoy every sandwich."

Enjoy your sandwich today.
Sunday, October 12, 2003
First real competition for Renzi's seat has been announced, Babbitt 's support down in the southern part of the district will be weak, but for Northern Arizona he will likely be a tough man to beat.
Saturday, October 11, 2003
One of my favorite regular reads Making of a Restaurant is coming to an end, a shame, it was a great run guys and good luck in your future efforts.
Been focused on preparing for NaNo and getting sucked into their Forums listening to other folks ideas along with writing games there. It's akin to manic preparations for a big endevour which I suppose writing a novel in a month will be. I have been wondering if I'll abandon the blog for the month while focusing on the novel, but I really can't say. It may work out that this will be my release valve for thoughts that don't fit the book or it's just as likely I get focused on the book and ignore here. Only time will tell I suppose.

I hate to reveal too much about my plans but I'll say this much, think cyberpunk. Protagonist awakes to realize the world isn't the same place he last left. Abit of the journey back to home. Three weeks to go and lots of outlining and planning to's going to be fun.
Thursday, October 09, 2003
Charles obit was in the paper this morning. Tough and funny to see a friend's life laid out in such a short space, especially when to friends and family he meant much more than some dates and a few accomplishments.
Wednesday, October 08, 2003
Remember kids Don't Play with Bears, because unless you are a real expert, you will end up real dead.
A few thoughts on the recall, as I have been reading across various blogs.

Point #1 - Yes California is crazy, but we have known this for a long time.

Point #2 - Sometimes in a crazy place a further act insanity is the best choice available.

Point #3 - Think a little wider, Arnold in California, Ventura in Minnesota, a trend is starting to play itself out, arguably that goes back to '94 Congressional sweep (Heck maybe further Perot, anyone?). People are sick of the two party dogmatism that is not fixing the problem. That is why the Greens have had the best results in recent years, libertarians are increasingly have their voice heard across the country, and non-traditional candidates are winning elections. People want to see a greater voice in their government and a more common sense approach. They are willing to back someone, anyone, who may potentially be that voice. You will get some lemons in this approach, but then the voters are willing and ready to make lemonade of them if they don't pan out.

I am not saying Arnold is California savior, but it will be interesting to watch.
I'm not a NYer, but...
Is it just me or is Gawker, just not the same since Elizabeth Spiers has left. It's almost like they are trying too hard Look at me I am cycnical, sarcastic and funny, I sware...
Poetry Wednesday
Been a while since I used one from the statesman of American poetry Uncle Walt, so it seems due time. Enjoy.

Hast Never Come to Thee an Hour
Hast never come to thee an hour,
A sudden gleam divine, precipitating, bursting all these bubbles, fashions, wealth?
These eager business aims—books, politics, art, amours,
To utter nothingness?
- Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

I occasionally play with the idea of starting a fake blog, but something so silly or outrageous that it would be obvious or with just a little research that it is fake. Like David Tuttle from MASH or Hugo Fraud, the problem is I have trouble enough staying dedicated to maintaining this one and any writing on the side and doubt I could do all three at once.
Tuesday, October 07, 2003
"Policy doesn't matter .... Weblogs are a way to create community, to create buzz." [Ed.—I think his exact quote was a bit more aggressive than that—"No one cares about policy. This is about buzz."] - The Kicker

If this guy was such a visionary, then why is the guy who made the statement over the weekend looking for another candidate now?

Sure buzz is a factor, but policy does matter.
Note to Non-bloggers
This one is to those of you surfing the web, but for some reason have held off from starting your own blog. There are plenty of good reasons not, it takes a little effort to post regularly, and it's not the perfect medium for everyone. Those thoughts aside, if you live any distance away from friends and family and can't see them everyday it's worth the effort.

I have had two close friends die on me in roughly the last year. They both knew that their lives were likely to be measured in very finite terms that last year. One had a blog for the last year of his life and one did not. I had gently suggested the idea to the one who didn't but did not push when the seed never planted.

It was a stark contrast to that last year in their lives, while I only lived two hour drive from one, it was the one who lived half the country away I can say I really knew him better in his last year.

One blogged about his doctor's visits, daily struggles and facing his own mortality. I got to see his rye sense of humor and his fight to stay healthy.

As point of contrast the other friend I think we had one serious heart to heart about his condition and afterwards, by circumstance or environment conversations tended to stay light and ignore the elephant in the room for the most part.

The contrast between the last year for each of them and how I shared it with them struck as I thought about it tonight. So my point is to share and perhaps help one of you to share your live with friends and family who live miles away. Because for the little work it takes, life is short and we never know when our time will come, but blogs can help bridge those distances.

ps - To those who might know the parties mentioned it's not a judgement of how they lived their lives, some people are more willing to live more out in public than others.
Monday, October 06, 2003
Who knew Tiger's could get stage fright as a friend mentioned to me. All I know if it were me that was attacked, I think my response would be Tiger, it's whats for dinner.

ps - Sometimes the Onion can be scary how precognitive it is ... a shame they pulled it.
In other news I had two days off, my first since early August, I can't say I really accomplished much with the time off, but it was nice to just gets some rest. But I did make it up to Flag for a writer's workshop, you basically sit in a group and do a number of different writing practices. Some folks continue through incorporating each topic into a short story, I tried to write different scenes and a poem. A few lines may survive in another work, but it was good mental exercise to do with others and work on writing. Tonight back to the late night life.
I wasn't surprised when the call came, I had been expecting it for a year. Ever since one of my oldest friend's was diagnosed with cancer I knew it might come. When it did it was in a certain way a relief because I know the pain and suffering is over. It's difficult to see someone you have known half your life waste away until the point when their movements was more akin to someone in the 80s rather than their 30s. I suppose on a certain level it hasn't hit me, on another I had been facing this for a year so I have already been grieving for a bit.

Not really sure how to finish this out so I'll leave it at this, Goodbye Charles.
Thursday, October 02, 2003
Read through my mail and this post by Declan on grassroots efforts to go after the Patriot Act in DC. Good, I first thought, glad to hear that the watchdogs are hard at work. I then looked at the line up...

Center for Democracy and Technology, good group...

ACLU, expected choice, but nice to see them present...

Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, hmmm diverse panel this does sound like a good event a shame I won't be in DC for it.

Then I got to Alec Baldwin. It sounded like they were going to have a serious and thoughtful approach, but by inviting him to chair a panel they immediately gave themselves a black eye. He has been Bush bashing since before day one of his Administration. He has a history of either speaking before he thinks or being an outright fool. I am all for a diversity of points of view, but if you want a meeting like this to have respectable outcomes you need to have thoughtful speakers, not clueless Hollywood hacks.
I saw the story on Limbaugh comments and thought to myself, "Good maybe his 15 minutes are about up" much like Michael Moore, Ann Coulter and Al Franken, I don't understand why people care what these people say.

But then I got to this line
Clark, a retired Army general, called the remarks "hateful and ignorant speech." And Dean, a former Vermont governor, followed up with his own assessment — "absurd and offensive."
and suddenly had a new line of thought.

If I were a Presidential candidate and someone asked me, my response might be something like this...

Who cares? A man made stupid comments and payed the price...

But why bother to ask me, I am here working to try to help Americans, working towards the future of our country why do you waste time with such a question? There are so many important questions facing us dealing with terrorism, the national debt, education, adapting the economy and society to a post-industrial market economy just to name a few.

Obviously you picked the wrong department of the newspaper to work for, who is your Editor? I have a good mind to call him up and ask him to transfer you to the Sports desk because that is clearly where your interests lie.

Sports and entertainment have their place in society, but that a reporter took time out of an interview to ask about this just shows how screwed up the media's interests are today.

But maybe that is just me...
"Ich bin ein Mode-Gott" - P. Diddy

Some things are just better said in German.
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Poetry Wednesday

In the Sky Are Two Bears
that trail their blood
over the ice of our eyes.

Their shaggy legs weightless
at winter's end

out of the steaming caves of space.

That pair who live by the pattern of their luck
which makes them walk a little drunk
on the wine of dusk

never one without the other
always pursuing.
Always apart.
- George Keithley, Grrrrr: Poems about Bears

I had a couple of hits looking for sware bear in google today, I figured they misspelled swear and went hunting and found what they are looking for...this. Can't deny I absolutely love it, I know what will be atop my Christmas list this year, swear bear that is hilarious.
Well now I have gone and done it. What exactly?

For the last 2 years I have seen National Novel Writing Month and wanted to participate. The first year I found out too late, last year I was in the process of moving back to Arizona so I wouldn't have the time. But this year all the excuses are gone, I have the time, I know ahead of time, and the motivation. It should be an interesting ride...wish me luck.

*grumble* *grumble* no excuses time to practice and get ready...

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