Bear Droppings
Tuesday, September 30, 2003
 
I click on the old tv to my one channel and notice it's Jerry Lewis in the Disorderly Orderly. All I can think as I watched was hey remember when he was funny, hmmm me neither.

I mean he was funny once, right? right?
 
Fray Day
Just a quick reminder that Fray Day 7 is this weekend, while I had wanted to organize one here in Northern Arizona I had to put it off until next year. But I attended and preformed at last years in DC and had a great time if there is a Fray day near you I HIGHLY recommend stopping by, you won't be sorry you did.
 
After 6 weeks of working a single day off is more of a tease than real chance for relaxation, well maybe a trip to Phoenix had something to do with it, but I feel more tired than before my day off.
Saturday, September 27, 2003
 
The Things you don't want to know and don't want to have to do...but need to
Some friends you carry in your heart, time comes to let them go, they know it, you know it. Their time on this earth has come to end, but suddenly they can't go and you realize your perhaps the only friend who can tell them it so bluntly, trust me it's not something you want. But something I'll likely have to do, but as much as Jen may hate a certain musican if you love someone set them free. Never expected the burden of telling them, but know I need to in person, I'll hate a part of myself for saying it, but it's the best for him, his wife, and all his friends and family.

Forgive me for saying it.

But perhaps the most mercy I can provide.
Friday, September 26, 2003
 
Lock yourself in a suspend box in public and watch the hilarity ensue. I have been following this story the last few weeks and couldn't be more proud of our English cousins.
 
I meant to blog this yesterday, but I forgot. I saw my first Segway in real life in downtown Flagstaff yesterday. Imagine Monty Burns on one and it was what I saw, some older fellow hunched forward, looking just well, odd, trolling up San Francisco street. Not exactly the hipster image they want to promote, but perhaps not surprising considering how much the things cost.
 
I just realized that I have not made a gratuitous use of curse words in this blog lately, but you know I just ain't gunna fucking do it. (Ah that's better)
Thursday, September 25, 2003
 
Ah Hollywood, just like them to make a show with a street for a name and to be completely clueless where it is located. Just for the record it's one street south of my favorite DC cigar shop.
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
 
Poetry Wednesday

White Flag
I know you think that I shouldn't still love you,
I'll tell you that.
But if I didn't say it, well I'd still have felt it
where's the sense in that?

I promise I'm not trying to make your life harder
Or return to where we were

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

I know I left too much mess and
destruction to come back again
And I caused but nothing but trouble
I understand if you can't talk to me again
And if you live by the rules of 'it's over'
then I'm sure that that makes sense

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

And when we meet
Which I'm sure we will
All that was then
Will be there still
I'll let it pass
And hold my tongue
And you will think
That I've moved on....

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be

Well I will go down with this ship
And I won't put my hands up and surrender
There will be no white flag above my door
I'm in love and always will be
- Dido

 
The horse and buggy whip industry is at it again, can't say as I am shocked.
 
Bad weather is a scarce thing in these parts, today we have had constant grey cloud cover keeping things cool, but rather different than the normal clear blue skies. In a sense days like this in Arizona are a blessing because they remind us to value all the clear days we get. Humidty has spiked with the clouds, but it's not the sticky oppressive stuff in DC rather it's and subtile kiss, just enough to make you aware it's there. Especially in Flagstaff, I had to run up for an errand, it was great to sit out and enjoy a cup of coffee with the trains passing through the heart of downtown. They are already getting leaves to change color up there, so it shouldn't be too long down here. Another reason I enjoy Northern Arizona, clear blue skies, but we actually have the pleasure of the change of seasons.
 
"This democracy and the flag of the United States," he then said, "do not belong to Rush Limbaugh and Jerry Falwell and Tom DeLay and John Ashcroft and Dick Cheney." - Howard Dean
For all the talk of not being a Washington politician he sure is starting to sound like one. Worse than that he has fallen into the same trap that most politicians of this age fall into the politics of exclusion. This was one thing that I have not been able to understand while in DC and ever since. I understand that you don't agree with another's policies that is healthy and necessary for intelligent debate. But this habit across the political spectrum to deny another person's patriotism or suggest they don't support this country is damaging to the political system and only applifies the party-line mentality.

Republicans, Democrats, even groups like NRA will all use it to demonize anyone who differs with their opinion.

I thought that September 11th two years ago had made this point clear but perhaps it needs to be said again.

At the end of the day, we are one nation, one people, and one in our love of this home we call the United States of America.
 
Blog Survey
I saw this post and thought it was interesting so here goes...

1) How many blogs do you read a day? 15 on average

2) Please name the three blogs you read most frequently. Instapundit, Boing Boing, Being Jen Raj, but really I have a core 10-15 I read near daily.

3) Why do you read the blogs you read? In other words, what makes those blogs worth checking out on a regular basis? Either I know the person or they discuss interesting ideas that are a different perspective from my own.

4) Have you ever read something on a blog that affected your decision-making on what to air/publish? If the answer is yes, can you give an example? No

5) How much influence do you think blogs have on political discourse? A lot, a little, or none at all? Alittle, but growing. Not to overhype the trend but it is allowing for more personal activism and participation in the process. Blogs are allowing for a more thoughtful and nuanced debate of policy issues than the sound bite media can explore. It's can dissect an issue by bring to bear issue area experts for fact checking. Also preform a watchdog function on the media, which in theory is the watchdog of our freedoms. It also can drive issues into the public space from the 'blogosphere' like in the Trent Lott issue last year. Blogs open political freedom of speech/press to the masses with minimal amount of barriers, they are not for everyone, but that everyone can have one opens political discourse in ways we are only beginning to discover.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
 
Active Media, well more so than a Couch Potato
Some people are rather startled that I live mostly without television right now. At first it was just to get me to write a little more, but I realized reading Halley's post that in her thoughts on media perhaps mirror other deeper reasons about why I cut myself away from the medium.
Here's what the other online media have made me feel about TV -- bored, frustrated and ansy since I just can't put my hands through the screen and pull out wonderful stuff, the way I can online. When I'm online and I read something interesting, I can take off on a deep dive for lots more information within seconds. When someone says something interesting on TV (this happens about once every 3 weeks), I can't go on an instantaneous hunt. I can't get INSIDE it. There's nothing in there, and it doesn't WANT me in there asking more questions.
I will in the next month or two end my television fast. I have easy access to satellite service when I get around to it and I do miss Food TV, Sci-Fi, Football, and a couple of shows. But otherwise I am more interested in the interactive media over the passive television.
Monday, September 22, 2003
 
I got to thinking about it, stealth disco is the next flashmob except you can do it solo, well except a cameraman to capture the action.
 
It's a rare day that I find a point to outright disagree with Edward at Zonitics, but today is the exception.

He states
Between Dean Esmay and Jonah Goldberg, I'm pretty comfortable in saying that it's okay to just ignore the Patriot-Act-Paranoids from here on out.

Just because there hasn't been abuses by the Administration yet is no reason to assume there isn't the potential and the matter should be simply ignored. It's relieving that there has not been abuse of power, it does not mean that it is a wasted effort. Remember that "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." (Jefferson) and that anytime new regulations or laws are passed we should keep watch to ensure that through bureaucrat or regulatory creep they do not negatively impact our freedoms.
Sunday, September 21, 2003
 
I opened my newspaper this morning flipping through the sections and thought oh Colin Mochrie is feature in Parade magazine how cool, I'll have to read that. He has been a regular on Whose Line is it Anyway for years and is pretty funny. Later as I took a closer look I realized it was someone else.

Funny, but I sware that was who I thought it was, yes I probably do need more sleep and some days off.
Friday, September 19, 2003
 
Shiver me timbers, yo'all know what day it be? Aaaaaaar!
 
That Light at the End of the Tunnel is just Another Train that is Gunna Run Me Down
In theory this should have been my last day of work before having the weekend off. Much needed rest since I have worked every day since sometime in August.

Note the use of should.

I talked to my employers earlier this week and said okay enough, I am human I need some days off. Me working everyday had been a voluntary measure when the hotel first opened because I frankly needed the cash and they had no one else, so it worked out well for the both of us. But a month plus later I have said enough and wanted them to bring up a relief guy from Phoenix, problem is he wanted an amount akin to highway robbery. So they balked on getting him, but have hired another auditor for me to train.

But he will be only working two nights a week, so this week I train, next week I'd get my two days right? Wrong. Because they want me to watch over him doing the audit the first night next week to make sure he is doing it properly, it's not rocket science, but it does need to be done correctly. So that means I'll have one day off next week, then two days off starting the week after.

It's better than nothing I suppose and I can still use the money, but right now I'd really like the time off.
Thursday, September 18, 2003
 
Thomas Friedman demostrates why he won the Pulitzer Prize with a column of how France's current leadership is making efforts to become an enemy of America. More importantly he looks at how this policy is not in France's long term interest and may ultimately cause more internal problems for them. While I hardly ever agree with Friedman's domestic columns, his foreign affairs pieces are usually quite insightful.
 
Finally a clued music label, I haven't had a chance to check out their music, but I will soon. I like their approach it's one I can respect.
 
A year today one of my best friends left us, his wisdom echos in my thoughts and laughter in my ears. Time passes all to quick, it seems as though it was yesterday and yet a million miles behind me at the same time. Reemul you are missed and without his help we may never discover the truth of Limabear. Happy Travels my friend, happy travels.
 
You have to love Style Invitational, for those who haven't lived in DC it's a Sunday Washington Post contest that is hilarous this week is only in DC pickup lines

The winner and one of my favorites
Your beauty renders me as powerless as Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton.
But to anyone who has lived in DC, it's a must read.
 
Stop Thief!
One other minor thing I forgot to mention last night, yesterday someone took off with our doors to the lobby and restaurant. That's right they are gone, since I am on the night crew, wait a minute, I am the entire night crew nobody tells me what happened. But from what I can piece together it was something to do with a subcontractor and a billing dispute. I know the local PD has been called in because a buddy on the force came by to examine the 'crime scene' tonight. Last night wasn't bad there was no breeze so the inside stayed fairly warm. But tonight the breeze is back and flowing right through the lobby so it is a bit brisk in here, not that I mind it's only September so it really isn't that cold, but we are at 4500ft elevation so it does get cool. It just gives a whole new meaning to open door policy for sure.

ps (6+ hours after this post) - damn it got cold last night
Wednesday, September 17, 2003
 
Send in the Ghostbusters
It seems we have a ghost or two running around our the property at work. Not that I mind exactly it is entertaining and the nights are mostly quiet. Some guests reported which room it is centered in, but said it was running around the hotel. Funny thing was that same night a door flew open and locked open on it's own about 30 feet from me at 4:30 in the morning. The doors here have those automatic close arms on them so for it to lock open it had to be a hellova force. A breeze was blowing at the time, but no where near strong enough to do this or in the right direction. So earlier tonight I got to talking with the security guard and relayed all this before he went off on patrol. He came back and told me "Remember the room we went and checked out a few weeks ago that the lights were on and the slide door was open, but no guests?" It was alittle odd event that occurred a couple weeks ago, we figured housekeeping had accidently left it open. Well it turns out that is the same room that the guest thought had the ghost, I didn't take the guards word for it, I went back through the log book and verified it was indeed the same room. So we have a mischievous spirit running around the hotel.

Ah nothing like a good ghost story huh? And here in Sedona where folks often come to visit for spiritual journey maybe we need to charge a few more dollars for the experience.
Tuesday, September 16, 2003
 
It's good to see the artists speaking out with the facts about the RIAA suing customers. A few choice quotes from the story...
"Lawsuits on 12-year-old kids for downloading music, duping a mother into paying a $2,000 settlement for her kid?" said rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy. "Those scare tactics are pure Gestapo."...

"Bruce Springsteen probably earned more in 10 nights at Meadowlands last month than in his entire recording career," said rocker Huey Lewis. ...

"For the artists, my ass," said Draiman. "I didn't ask them to protect me, and I don't want their protection."

 
Ever check out the Devil's dictionary? It has a lot of unique definitions you won't see anywhere else. Like...
copyright, noun

The notion that you can protect from the future what you stole from the past.

“The Devil’s Dictionary (2.0) is copyright © 2003 Greg Knauss.”

Monday, September 15, 2003
 
Great rant on RIAA and their efforts to destroy value. Reading through Tim's posts he has alot of good material in there about VC, the economy, and business in general. (Thanks Kevin)
 
Hmmm free wi-fi on September 25th, you know I just may wander down to my local coffee shop and take advantage. Granted I have access at home but if you knew the views from the coffee shop you'd understand why.
Thursday, September 11, 2003
 
the day the music died...on my amazon list
While I have been supporting in principal the boycott the RIAA efforts I played the moral edge on my Amazon list. I had never gone back and removed my music, I figured if I didn't buy the music my conscious was clear. But with them suing 12 year old girls and grandfathers I made the final step I went back and cleared out my wish list. I'd clear out movies on the list, but then they haven't started to sue their customers yet.

I think the statistics are pretty clear, the music industry has released less, music, charged more, for arguably lower quality product. They have demostrated they want to suck the artists and customers dry. Artists like Janis Ian have shown that downloading does not negatively impact sales and may actually help them. Much like Cory Doctrow's experience with his first book being available for download didn't hurt his sales. So rather than argue the point I'll ignore them. In a few weeks when I have a few spare dollars I'll go spend it on local artists and indy labels. I don't think my few dollars will make much difference at the end of the day, but I think I'll be able to enjoy the music a little bit more.
 
Ha, Ha! (couldn't help myself)
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
 
German Brewery Donates Beer To American Soldiers

You know I always did like Spaten, but the story does have one problem, something I have long disagreed with
However, there is one small problem that Louis Sieb, president of Spaten North America, did not consider when he came up with the idea. The average sailor is 20. Legal drinking age is 21.

"They give up everything, right? They put their lives on the line, right? And they can't drink beer? Still, a good thing, I think," Sieb said.
Old enough to die for your country, old enough to drink a beer in my book.
 
I checked the clock, it's Wednesday so I can post this, I am still working on the album review, but for the moment...

Poetry Wednesday

Keep Me In Your Heart
Shadows are falling and I'm running out of breath
Keep me in your heart for a while

If I leave you it doesn't mean I love you any less
Keep me in your heart for a while

When you get up in the morning and you see that crazy sun
Keep me in your heart for a while

There is a train leaving nightly called when all is said and done
Keep me in your heart for a while

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for a while

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for a while

Sometimes when you're doing simple things around the house
Maybe you'll think of me and smile

You know I'm tied to you like buttons on your blouse
Keep me in your heart for a while

Hold me in your thoughts, take me to your dreams
Touch me as I fall into view
When the winter comes keep the fires lit
And I will be right next to you

Engine driver's headed north to Pleasant Stream
Keep me in your heart for a while

These wheels keep turning but they're running out of steam
Keep me in your heart for a while

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for a while

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la-li-lo
Keep me in your heart for a while

Keep me in your heart for a while
- Warren Zevon and Jorge Calderon, The Wind

 
Oww!
I am sore all over, mostly the good kind that comes from a good workout yesterday so I'll be feeling it the next few days. In DC the last few years going to the gym had become a habit 2-4 times a week depending on what I could manage, considering I was never the athletic type I was pretty happy with it. After the move back I slacked off and haven't gotten back into a regular habit. Partially because the work hours, partially because I don't have a direct gym membership and have to depend on a friend's access to the local fire department gym to lift weights.

Now that it has started to cool off again the beloved Mutt is in the mood for walks so I try to oblige (working seven days a week at night makes for weird hours). As much as I'd like to credit these walks with a recent weight drop I think it has had more to do with working nights and never sure when to eat, I have dinner regularly, but otherwise I am not eating all that often.

Working nights and nonstop for the last month is starting to wear on me I suppose, getting anything resembling a full nights sleep has been difficult the last week or so averaging 4-5 hours a day, which gets me by, but makes staying awake around 3am more of a challenge. Let's just hope that making it into the gym regularly doesn't remain a challenge, I have actually missed it.
 
Dave Barry with his take on Warren Zevon and his departure, I would have expected more humor from him in it, but considering he knew him, maybe his more serious approach isn't all that surprising.

Another part of the story the mainstream media has been getting wrong is Warren Zevon died of mesothelioma, not lung cancer as has been reported. It is the same kind of cancer Steve McQueen died from and is not related to smoking, for more details on mesothelioma.
Monday, September 08, 2003
 
Flash Mobs
If they are a fad this is the official indication they are over...
 
Knew the day was coming but it doesn't make it any less sad...

Warren Zevon, Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 56

NY Times story
USA Today
Blog Critics Obit
Album review of The Wind by Eric Olsen

My brother got me a copy of the album, I listened to it a few times in recent days and hope to post a review today at some point.

Not a Poetry Wednesday but some of his lyrics seem in order so...

My Ride's Here
I was staying at the Marriott
With Jesus and John Wayne
I was waiting for a chariot
They were waiting for a train
The sky was full of carrion
"I'll take the mazuma"
Said Jesus to Marion
"That's the 3:10 to Yuma
My ride's here..."

The Houston sky was changeless
We galloped through bluebonnets
I was wrestling with an angel
You were working on a sonnet
You said, "I believe the seraphim
Will gather up my pinto
And carry us away, Jim
Across the San Jacinto
My ride's here..."

Shelley and Keats were out in the street
And even Lord Byron was leaving for Greece
While back at the Hilton, last but not least
Milton was holding his sides
Saying, "You bravos had better be
ready to fight
Or we'll never get out of East Texas tonight
The trail is long and the river is wide
And my ride's here"

I was staying at the Westin
I was playing to a draw
When in walked Charlton Heston
With the Tablets of the Law
He said, "It's still the Greatest Story"
I said, "Man, I'd like to stay
But I'm bound for glory
I'm on my way
My ride's here..."
by Warren Zevon and Paul Muldoon

Thursday, September 04, 2003
 
Style and Class
Style and Class was a meme a friend mine and I played with in college, generally revolving around a specific person, place or thing and what was possessed, one, both, or neither. An object could have style without class. It was rare but generally if it had class it also had style, but it wasn't an outright given. It was a silly game but gave an interesting light-hearted look to sense of self in design of things.

I have been thinking about it lately because of being alone in the lobby of this new hotel every night. As the last pieces of furniture went by it struck me that this place has style, but no class.

Every room, every object has a distinct sense of modern style about it. But there is no natural continuity between these places, it just doesn't flow. The outside furniture is clunky and uncomfortable, while the lobby features Aeron computer chairs. Even more sadly the one feature this property has in spades, a great view of Snoopy rock is hidden from the lobby and main reception area.

There is alot of style on this property, but a shame, especially for an aspiring high end hotel, it has no class.
 
Music
I also earlier noticed the following story and wanted to comment
Vivendi Universal's (V) Universal Music Group plans to sharply lower the consumer cost for compact discs, in an effort to bring customers back into retail stores and boost music sales.

The move comes as the music industry grapples with a continuing decline in retail sales in the face of rampant piracy and other problems.

In a press release Wednesday, Universal Music said it will reduce wholesale prices and implement a $12.98 manufacturer suggested retail price on virtually all of its top-line CDs in the U.S.
- CNN

First off it's the smartest thing the recording companies could do and the first sign in the last five years that they are not completely brain dead. That said it still doesn't go far enough, but it's a start. My problem with it the idea, well if you read further into the story it notes "The company, whose artists range from U2 to Reba McIntyre, will also cut wholesale prices on cassettes so its MSRP for top-line releases will be $8.98."

The problem is cassettes are more expensive to produce than CDs. They have more parts but run less expensive so I know they are still holding the customer hostage. I know industry costs vary but if you look on Amazon you can buy 25 CD-Rs for $15.99, if you want a blank cassette tape it's $9.99 for 10 (or roughly 10 dollars more for the same product). These are granted just the home use version, but the industrial form is likely not that expensive, in fact probably cheaper.

Speculation on the CNN and other sites story hint that this will be a move for the industry as a whole, which I'd welcome, but for the moment as the recording industry or their lackeys continue to treat their customers like thieves I'll be supporting my local independent artists.
 
Lack of Posts
I haven't been posting as regularly mostly because a big lack of things to talk about. My life has rather boring the last few weeks and while I could wax poetic while working at night, I am trying to put my energies to other matters at the moment. I am the only night auditor at my new work place which means I have been working 7 days a week since the hotel opened 2-3 weeks ago (yeah I have lost count). Not that I am complaining, I needed to catch up on the bills and so working the extra time will help me get caught up sooner, or that's the story I keep telling myself. I do notice my batteries have been wearing down by the constant work cycle but hey that's life.

Just to give you a sample of the schedule, change the date to anyone in the last 2-3 weeks and it looks something like this. 7am as the rest of the world is waking up or heading to work I am going home, wind down by listening to the radio, playing with the ever happy and trouble making pup then by 8:30 or so crash for the night (er day, whatever). If I am lucky I fall asleep immediately, but somedays the body won't shutdown to sleep, working weird hours will do that sometimes. Somewhere between 1pm and 3:30pm depending on the cabin's temperature, noise, and other factors I wake up and begin my day. Maybe get a snack. Read, surf the web, laundry for the next few hours. 6-7 take the puppy for a walk, he likes to get out and the fresh air does me good. 7-8 make dinner and prep what I'll eat at work. 9-10 watch Perry Mason or nap, or both. 10pm get ready for work. 11pm back at the hotel for the night shift. (repeat)

With an exception here or there that has been life at the cabin, I did get a bit of writing done on the night shift at first but now I am tired so being creative seems a chore. Still after being out of work for 2 months it's just nice to have a job.

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