Bear Droppings
Thursday, February 27, 2003
 
I have not posted alot the last two weeks for good reason, with the start of my new job I have been spending a good part of my day reading, concentrating, and otherwise occuping my time with my new job.

No regrets though, quite the opposite.

I finally get to live in the mountains and work in my career field, which categorically is the shit. Life is far from perfect, but I don't mind all the effort and the way I am tired at the end of the day, it's a tired of thinking, learning, and accomplishment.

Well, maybe not accomplishment, yet, but I'll get there. Long commute, because of the current storm an hour each way and I still have to wear a tie a bit much for my taste, but if those are your complaints for work, no worries eh? Follow your dream.
Wednesday, February 26, 2003
 
Poetry Wednesday

I Took the Canyon Road
Red Rock Mesas stand dusted with snow;
Clouds enshroud them to enhance an air of mystery.

I take the canyon road.

The snow is off in the distance enveloping the earth;
red and white contrast on the mountainside.

I take the canyon road.

The road climbs and a snow pile appear on the road side;
One, then two the piles begin to grow.

I take the canyon road.

By Slide Rock the red rocks are covered in a white blanket;
The rain turns to fluffy white flakes.

I take the canyon road.

Oak tree skeletons become wrapped in softness;
the flakes fall faster now.

I take the canyon road.

Our parade of vehicles slows to climb into the clouds and out of the canyon;
I reach the top and continue my drive to Flagstaff.

I took the canyon road.
- Thomas Vincent 2003
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
 
Snow
Snowy day here in Flagstaff, as evidenced by this picture. It's actually coming down pretty good, which is good because we need the moisture here. The downside of it all is, if it continues like this all day I'll likely have to take the long way home via the Interstate instead of my normal commute on the State highway. Reason being the State Road is not first priority road and there was almost an inch of snow on it on my drive up to work, it's not that the Interstate isn't clear it just will add a good 15-20 miles to my commute, worse case I may have to stay overnight in town. Only time will tell.
Monday, February 24, 2003
 
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.08
1. Has anyone ever told you that you needed to lose weight or change something about yourself physically? Who told you and what impact did it have on your life? Your perception of yourself?
Yes, it's not something I am unaware of or wasn't already working on, so it didn't change any perceptions.

2. Do enjoy the snow and cold weather? Yes, and I am looking forward to more snow and we will likely get some more tomorrow. It will make the drive to work a bit more difficult, but considering the drought, it's a necessity.

3. Visualize the perfect winter evening. Are you alone or with someone? How does the evening start? How does it end, and everything in-between. Cabin with a wamr fire, nice dinner, and good conversation.

4. I've noticed that people I work with, even no more than 6 feet away, would rather e-mail me a message than turn around and speak to me. Same goes for voice mail, I find I get more calls when I am away than when I am available to speak to someone. So many things that could be said face-to-face are now accomplished electronically. Do you think that technology has had allowed relationships and human interaction to become less personal? Is this a good thing? Yes and no, somethings are more difficult, somethings are made easier, talk with friends and relatives cross-country is much easier as evidenced, but these websites, an Aunt of mine and I exchange IMs from time to time otherwise we probably would talk a few times a year, inherently, the technology is neutral on matters of personal interaction, it depends on how people communicate. It can be helpful I was in an office with a cubicle farm once, one coworker had a habit of venting very publicly and rather than bring this up, we generally sent IMs back and forth

Me: "Why is Coworker A on the rampage today?"
Coworker B: "Dunno, but she is really in a mood, want to get out of here for lunch."
Me: "Anything to get away from her, see at the front door"

So it's all in how you use it.

5. One thing I've always wanted to learn is how to juggle. I'm pretty good with my hands, so I am sure I could do it. Yet, I've never made the commitment to sit down and learn how. Is there anything you've been meaning to learn, that you can learn, but haven't? (or maybe you have?) I'd like to get back to taking Tai-Chi classes, I took a few in college and when I was first in DC, but I have never gotten back at it, once the job gets settled in and I am used to my schedule, I'll likely get back into it.

6. On the other side of the coin, there is photography. As much as I'd like to, I will never be as great at it as others. And I am OK with that, still I wish I had the gifts that others have. What skills or talents have you wished that you possessed that you most likely never will? Are you content with that? A shred of musically ability, but in certain veins we are lacking, oh well.

7. "AudioBlogs" are a twist on text blogs, where the blogger posts audio files instead of writing their entries. Not far behind the curve are VideoBlogs. While I've tinkered with Audio posts before, I think it excludes too many people and personally, I feel the written word has a deeper impact. What do you think of the concept of "AudioBlogs?" Would you like to hear the voice of your favorite bloggers occasionally? Would you rather listen to or read your favorite Blogs? It will happen and it will bring people in who would never spend time typing away for a regular blog, some will do mixes, others will be pure text, audio, or video. It's the great thing about the web, especially with more broadband users, people will use it in new and interesting ways. I suspect those mini Sony laptops with built in cameras will be used to make quick video blogs but public officals in the future, it would be a great insight to the day to day world of politics and give them a better insight to how a politician spends their day. It will happen mark my words.

BONUS: How deep is your love? How deep is the ocean, how wide is the sea, how long will Traficant continue to say "Beam Me Up!" Yea, baby, that deep.


Thursday, February 20, 2003
 
Honesty
Honesty is a scary thing, no less when someone faces the fact of the their own end. A good friend, no, one of my best and longest friends was diagnosed with cancer over the summer. I suspected his chances were not good from the onset, but like any challenge you put on a brave face and move forward, because you know of nothing better to do.

After a series of operations and chemo the last seven months he has come to realize that he would likely not win this fight and accpeted his fate.

Not surprisingly it tears me up inside.

He is and has been for the last fifteen years one of my best friends. We roomed together in college and afterwards, I even had the honor of being bestman at his wedding.

I lost one close friend this last year and while I knew I might lose a second, I hope it wouldn't be the case.

I take solice in the fact I am living a lot closer to this friend and I can see him and enjoy his company again before the end comes. For that I should be thankful, but right now all I can do is wonder what it will be like to try to see a Bond film without him, look at my rubber chicken and smile, or hear an old Foriegner song without missing my friend and I don't like it.

Such old phrases that no one else will get the in-joke like

Dog? What dog?
He's White
the Don Quoxtie society
Uncle Stinkie
If Sean's ball ever comes back it will be a miracle
Stretch, the wonder, rubber..........................................chicken

As you read them many will carry sound strange and carry no meaning, but each of them make me smile and remember the time and place they were uttered.

I know life changes, things happen and we carry on, but some moments time stops and it just hurts. My poetic side wishes it could say it in a way to give the moment more credence, but that is all I feel.

Charles, I will miss you and my life would not be the same without you in it. Thanks for walking with me as long as you have and I hope and pray our paths won't diverge nearly as soon as we expect.

Wednesday, February 19, 2003
 
Poetry Wednesday
It's the month Pooh I suppose...

To know the Way,
We go the Way;
We do the Way
The way we do
The things we do.
It's all there in front of you,
But if you try too hard to see it,
You'll only become Confused.

I am me,
And you are you,
As you can see; But when you do
The things that you can do,
You will find the Way,
And the Way will follow you. -
Pooh, Tao of Pooh

 
Traficant Update
I bet you are saying to yourself, "Gee I haven't heard anything about James Traficant at Bear Droppings lately, I guess there is no more news about him" and you would be pretty much correct. There has not been much in the paper as of late, but just so you know that the crack staff here at Bear Droppings never gives up, we have this story from The Hill.

But I am sure you are left wondering, what else could be left to report, they took his freedom, his toupee, and his congressional seat, is there anything left?

Yes.

His boat evidently
The congressman, currently inmate No. 31213-060 at the Allenwood Federal Corrections Institution in White Deer, Pa., is serving an eight-year sentence for bribery, corruption and tax evasion.

Perhaps as a result, he hasn’t paid his $100 slip fee in 18 months. His boat, a once-admired Egg Harbor 37 motor cruiser, is sinking at its berth. Its big gas engines are ruined, its pumps barely work, and its seams are oozing putty.

Hey Lex, you want a boat of your own, cheap?
 
Red Cross
I don't know what the deal is, but something is wrong with the Red Cross in the state of Arizona. I saw in the paper a story for a blood drive locally. While I have been sick a few days ago I figured I could call at the very least and find out if they would accept me. I try the number in the newspaper and it's disconnected. So I go to the website and try calling the local listing, I get a fax or modem pool with that delightful ~skreeetch~. So I call the regional office in Phoenix to find a local number, the 800 number tells me to call a toll line. So I call the toll line and it tells me to call another 800 number, this being the 5th number, I give up and figure I'll walkin tomorrow or Friday when I am in the area of the drive.

4 phone calls and no answers to a simple question, there has to be a better way.
Tuesday, February 18, 2003
 
Buck a Gig

I'd buy that for a dollar I suppose, I seem to remember when we went to school and computer lab wanted three dollars for 5 1/4inch floppy. Ouch did I date myself :)
Monday, February 17, 2003
 
First day on the job, alot of paperwork, introductions, and reading to catchup on all the latest issues. I just finished with a quick lunch, but afterwards I took a stroll through the downtown, looking up at the snow covered peaks, no regrets on moving not a one. The funny thing is how flat they look in this picture, here in town the leap out at you. Well back to work, plenty to learn.
Sunday, February 16, 2003
 
Transitions
I have been adapting to a lot of changes in life of late, some good and some bad. Some that worry me and others that fill me with anticipation. I find myself missing friends, but at the same time knowing this was the place I was meant to be.

As I look up at the full moon I see some of their faces shining back at me. Friends and now guides on how to live.

So I'll strive to enjoy the moment, the new dawn and the fresh opportunities as I receive them, because like others have taught me, time rushes by and I do not know when my hour is to be called.

There is so much left to do.

Friday, February 14, 2003
 
Work
I went through the final interview and was hired today. I'll be starting Monday working on government affairs for a local chamber. More details to follow, have a good weekend.
Wednesday, February 12, 2003
 
Today's - posted by Thomas @ 18:51
 
Poetry Wednesday
Another selection from Grrrrr: A Collection of Poems about Bears

Furry Bear
If I were a bear,
And a big bear too,
I shouldn't much care
If it froze or snew;
I shouldn't much mind
If it snowed or friz-
I'd be all fur-lined
With a coat like his!

For I'd have fur boots and a brown fur wrap,
And brown fur knickers and a big fur cap.
I'd have a fur muffle-ruff to cover my jaws,
And brown fur mittens on my big brown paws.
With a big brown furry-down up to my head,
I'd sleep all the winter in a big fur bed.
- A.A. Milne

 
One of the things the media never really showed, but staff members knew was DeLay's sense of humor. Contrary to popular stoic notion among the media he can have a rather rye sense of humor as this story demostrates.
DeLay is trying a more personal approach. "I was at a celebration of India's Independence Day," he told reporters, "and a Frenchman came walking up to me and started talking to me about Iraq, and it was obvious we were not going to agree. And I said, 'Wait a minute. Do you speak German?' And he looked at me kind of funny and said, 'No, I don't speak German.' And I said, 'You're welcome,' turned around and walked off."

Tuesday, February 11, 2003
 
Reason number #534 why I don't want to live in the Valley. (Thanks Stephen)
 
I generally don't give the time of day to a star standing on soapbox spouting rhetoric and how silly it can often be, but this was just too good to ignore. Enjoy.
Monday, February 10, 2003
 
Store
Sometimes in life you don't realize the little changes you have made until it smacks you upside the head. I went to the store tonight to grab a few things for dinner. I naturally grabbed what I needed for that and the next couple of breakfasts without much regard. When I got to the register it struck me, I had gotten pretty much healthy things, not a junk food item or 6 pack of beer among them, oh the shame.

Salad greens
Garlic
Granola bars
Yogurt

So when did a grocery run makes you realize your diet had changed? What was it?
 
FCC closes its public reading room, citing "homeland security"

This sets a bad precident, while the FCC does a fine job of maintaining is documentation on the website, sometimes there is no better alternative to going into a document room and searching in person, as a governmental office they should be require to maintain access to the general public. Granted being in Arizona now I am far more likely to use the website, but part of serving the public good is maintain that access. I hope this policy is soon reversed.

Update: The change in policy has been cancelled. The policy was reversed the same day, and people say the government can't work efficently.
 
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.06
1. In the states, every citizen is expected to perform their civic duty and serve on a jury at some point. This week, I am on jury duty. Have you ever had to serve on a jury? I have been called a few times, but invariably they call when I am in Germany as a student or was living in DC and the jury duty was in Phoenix, there records were more than a bit old, so I have never had the chance, truth be told, I'd like to.

2. If you were to ever serve on a jury, would you be able to give someone the death penalty? If the crime was bad enough and I thought the evidence prooved they did it, yes I could do it.

3. One thing that concerns me about jury duty is what my life would be like if I had to convict someone. I'd always be worried about some sort of retaliation from the convict, or their family. Has fear of negative consequences ever kept you from reporting a crime or voicing your opinion? Not really.

4. When it comes to convictions, I've never even been convicted of speeding (accued yes, but heh, never convicted). Have you ever been accused of or convicted for breaking any laws? What's the real story there? A few traffic laws, speeding and a lane change, I still don't think I was guilty of the lane change, but it's ancient history now.

5. It looks like I will have a lot of time on my hands this week in the jury pool. I may get called, I may not. If not, I go back tomorrow. Rinse, wash, repeat. How would you pass the time if you had to sit and wait around from 8am-5pm for 5 days? A good book, observing people, it would be a good environment to people watch I'd think.

6. One thing I do like about this "civic duty" is that it will be at the downtown courthouse. I LOVE downtown. There is just so much life there. What part of your town is your favorite to visit? Why? What makes it so special? Downtown in Flagstaff, you have the old buildings, the trains going by, and can feel the heart of downtown.

7. I'm not that outgoing around strangers, so I doubt I will be meeting many new people this week. Do you have any problems striking up a conversation with someone you don't know? Have chance encounters with strangers ever led to interesting new relationships or opportunities? It varies to the place an circumstance, by nature I am not an outgoing person, but it a necessity at times so when it is I switch a switch mentally and just do it and not worry about it. In the West though it's alot easier to strike up a casual conversation out of the blue with people than in the East, they are just more relaxed it seems.

BONUS: So if I tell you that you're really something baby, will you stay or will you go away? Will it matter, by without saying you do not live and life should be experience above all else.


 
Dude, your going to jail.

Ah poor Steven, we never saw it coming *snicker* did we.

Update: More on the case over at the smoking gun.
Sunday, February 09, 2003
 
I'm listening to Hearts of Space an NPR program that has alot of electronic, new age, and other sounds that don't get alot of media play. It's interesting to sit back and just listen as something different for a change, but as I sat there it suddenly struck me, with the music I am listening to being so popular around Sedona and perhaps the use of illicit substance, I can easily understand why so many people are here think the see aliens.

Interesting stuff to listen to regradless.

And no no aliens sightings, yet.
Saturday, February 08, 2003
 
I awoke this morning to SNOW! I hope it sticks around, but I doubt it, I'll enjoy it while it lasts. When it started I couldn't see the airport mesa across the valley, now I can just make it out which means it's letting up a bit.
Thursday, February 06, 2003
 
eating people
YOU EAT PEOPLE!!!


what's YOUR deepest secret?
brought to you by Quizilla
 
Hilarious (Thanks Lex)
 
Man wants to end use of public funds for lobbying
Nice idea in concept, but difficult in reality, I haven't seen the proposed language, but I have a sneaking suspicion such law would not pass a 1st amendment smell test. I can imagine many circumstances that would cause trouble. You have a non-elected government worker who has a blog and takes a stance on the issue, opps they aren't on leave boss finds out and has to fire them. Or even more realistic that person works for a state agency and runs for the local school board, they get put on suspension or fired. Again not going to pass muster, yes eliminating lobbyists would be nice, but I can't help but wonder if Mr. Bond believes in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny too.
 
Off beat the war drums...
From the Professor this morning
It followed from all this that the hawks were the only Westerners not surprised by September 11. The attacks that day fitted with how they thought the world was going, and they were therefore ready with the analysis and with the counter-attack. The "war against terrorism" and the "axis of evil" were not mere phrases - they were formulations of doctrine.

Regular readers know I am not a hawk, I'd prefer peace but sometimes it's a necessity, in war nasty things happen and people die, it ain't pretty no matter how many times CNN or someone else tries to make it look like a video game.

September 11th shocked my senses on the level of death, destruction, and pain, but sadly it did not surprise my intellect as in Charles Moore's assertion. Students of the body politic knew this was a possiblity the US. Terrorism experts had been predicting that we would be eventually hit by a event since the late 1970s, we had gotten lucky. The luck ended that day.

Much like facing the Soviets post World War Two this will not be over tomorrow, these terror networks operate on tribal and feudal level that require human intel, something that has been a second or third tier career track since the mid-1970s. It's going to take a generation at least in my person estimation. And it won't be the clear Soviets Bad/ America good line in the sand, because it involves human intel most of the battles will be in the shadows and in the relhm of the grey.

Most Americans will likely forget in their day to day mind that we are still out there fighting within five to ten years, but the battle will rage on. Efforts to establish structures of freedom may help this fight, but establishing them among regions of ancient tribal conflicts, corrupt leaders, and fanatical leadership will be difficult at best.

But before we let this myth transform into accepted fact, follow your history and it's not a surprise, just a sad fact in this world in which we live. (Off the soapbox)
 
Warren Zevon
I got a few hits looking for the Warren Zevon story in the New York Times magazine, it's here if people are interested. Some great moments are captured in the story like..
Letterman asked Zevon if his condition had taught him anything about life and death. ''How much you're supposed to enjoy every sandwich,'' Zevon answered.

Weeks later, Letterman was still struck by the reply. ''Here's a guy looking right down the barrel of the gun,'' he said. ''And if a guy wanted to indulge himself in great hyperbole in that circumstance, who wouldn't forgive him? But that was perfect, the simplicity of that. If this guy is not a poet, who is?''

or the movitation to write
''People write because it seems like it'll be an easier job than carpet laying, that they might meet more girls,'' he says. ''And they write because the world strikes them as being a marvelous place, and they want to keep bringing that to everybody's attention. You know, a scary place, a menacing place, an exciting place because it's scary and menacing. But mainly, kind of glorious.''


Lastly this line caught my attention
One song they recorded was ''Prison Grove,'' which got started, like many Zevon songs, with a title phrase that struck him as both odd and singable.

''Jokingly we refer to it as my Robert Redford in prison song,'' Zevon said. ''On another level it's really serious. Afterward, Jorge said, 'You know, your body's the prison.' And I said, 'Whoa, he knows me better than I know myself.' ''

It reminded me a lot of a friend I lost around the time Zevon's cancer was announced, 'your body's the prison' so very true in my friends case, those of you who knew him take a few minutes to read the story I think you'll find it familar. Reminds me to get busy, you never know how much time is on that clock ticking inside.



Wednesday, February 05, 2003
 
Fast internet connection, a pipe full of tobacoo, roaring fire and Ghost Dog on the dvd player, life is good.
 
Quick Movie Reviews
When I moved into the cabin I was determined no cable for the first six months, try to spend more energy writing and it was a good idea. I am writing a bit, though none of it really has shown up here yet. I did break down and trade my brother for a dvd drive. It made sense though I had no player, I had 5-6 movies I had gotten while at my last place, going to waste. So I occasional watch a movie in the evening here are some quick reviews of what I have seen

Ronin - Post Cold War Mercenery Thriller, guns, action, and the French countryside. One of my favorite films in the last 5 years.

The Replacement Killers - Guns, Mira Sorvino, and some guy named Chow Yun-Fat, oh and did I mention Mira Sorvino?

Death to Smoochy - Robin William beats up a Barney, nuff said. Robin is incredible, Edward Norton does a good job as Smoochy, but the script falls apart in the last act. Hollywood Ending.

Reality Bites - GenX anthem o sorts, but then they all got jobs for dot coms and looks folks they are unemployed again ;)

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai - This was the one I really wanted to see, I knew how it would end, but I loved the story. Urban theme, mixed with mafia and eastern theology. Go see it if you missed it.
 
Poetry Wednesday
This time inspired by a sunset in Flagstaff.

Light blue skies darken,
harkening nights arrival,
pink skies highlight
the retreating path of the sun.

Distant church bells ring
for late service,
while the bars of downtown
are illuminated by bright boxes
of the super bowl.

I am home.

Neon slowly begins
to light the evening
the peaks stand magestic
against the deep blue horizon.

Meanwhile a train
cuts through the heart of town
blaring it's approach to all.

And I think,
I am home.
- Thomas Vincent 2003

Tuesday, February 04, 2003
 
You have to love small town newspapers
When a Williams man was found intoxicated in his truck that had just been struck by a train in Williams Sunday, his answer to police who asked him if he'd been drinking was, "When -- before or after I got stuck?"

 
End of a Guilty Pleasure
Oh well, another reason not to get a tv or cable at the cabin, Dawson's Creek is being cancelled. While I have freely admitted to it being a guilty pleasure show of mine I have not seen much of it this year, between the move and the like. Truth be told it lost it's direction since graduation. They try to keep the characters lives intertwinned and they are not pulling it off well, the lives would be going in different directions so probably for the best to put the show to bed. I'll have to add the season dvds to my Amazon list :) (Thanks to David for pointing it out)
Monday, February 03, 2003
 
PromoGuy's Monday Mission 3.05
1. Do you remember the first LP, 45, CD or CD single that you bought? Recreate the scene for me.
LP, cassette tape and the like don't stand out in my mind, though I do remember my first CD it was Queen's the Miracle, I bought it from music store outside of Paradise Valley mall in Phoenix as I recall I got there in this cool little blue Fiat, well it was cool the 10 minutes a month it was running.

2. What was the last CD or song that you actually paid money for? Division of Laura Lee, Black City. I was in Flagstaff a few weeks ago and I heard it playing in the indy music store, it reminded me of Death Cab for Cutie, but a little more punk influence, it has not grown on me as DCFC did, but maybe in time, I only have heard it a few times.

3. It is my personal opinion that "Munchos" and "Funions" are the most perfect snack food ever. What do you think is the best snack food ever? Beef Jerky

4. Comedian George Carlin once pointed we consider the things we like to keep around us to be our "stuff," whereas other people's stuff is just junk to us (ok, he used more colorful language, but you get the idea). What "stuff" do you have that someone else might just throw away if they were cleaning out your house? Not much at the moment, having just moved, I have gotten rid of alot of suff recently.

5. Do you think it is wrong for people to rush to e-Bay and start selling Space Shuttle Columbia collectibles? Yes, but it's a free country and I hate the tendency to want to fix everything wrong with passing another law. If you don't like it, don't buy it. It's as simple as that, I don't like Springer or tv media talk shows, so I don't watch them, enough people get the same idea and they will drop off the air *shrug*

6. Does it bother you when President Bush speaks about God and invokes scripture quotations from the Bible during his speeches? Not really Presidents have been doing it for 200+ years.

7. I have a friend who think's she's being photographed in public restrooms. What paranoid delusion do you have?*

Austin Powers: There are only two things in this world that scares me and one is nuclear war.
Basil: What's the other?
Austin Powers: Huh?
Basil: What's the other thing that scares you?
Austin Powers: Carnies. Circus folk. Nomads, you know. Smell like cabbage. Small hands.


Bonus: Can't you feel the weight of my stare? Nope.


Saturday, February 01, 2003
 
Shuttle
My brother called me and told of the shuttle crashing, but I can say I was not as much in shock, since the Challenger, at least in my generation we have accepted it as a possibility. As I think back we have never really lost any craft in landing among them so the chance it would happen would occur sooner or later. It saddens me no less, but it just doesn't have the surprise it would have before Challenger.
 
Avast ye land lumbers Bloody Tom Vane here, if ye be wanting to know yer own pirate name follow this link. (Thanks Robert)

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