Archive for April, 2004


Vacation From Life

I’ve been thinking I need a vacation. Not from work, but from everything outside of work! Well, and work, too…Lately I’ve been feeling more and more run down. I think I am trying to do way too many things at once! I am working on the BUG (a name Rael doesn’t seem to like; can’t imagine why!), this site, tweaks to, building out Erin’s new site, participating where possible on the Blosxom mailing list, rehearsing and finally playing live with Not Bill, trying to write random sketches with Sean (not easy when I don’t get to see him more often), and hoping that Ann isn’t too irritated with me for being so busy! That’s on top of all the get togethers, going away parties and other events, like Andres getting married, that I goto. This is all on top of work, which occupies my day from 7:30AM till almost 6:30PM (commute time included).

Somewhere in there I hope to help Jon E. get his site up and running, shoot some film (if Sean and I finish writing), rehearse more since we’re going to try and play a full show this summer, work more on my languishing world building project… shall I go on?

I wrote to Roger, a fellow Blosxom user, in an email that, “Time is a rarity… I understand that all too well. I’ve been thinking I need a vacation. Not from work, but from everything outside of work! Well, and work, too…” The “trouble” is all of these things I’m doing I really do enjoy doing. I do miss the downtime to simply vegetate in front of a bad movie on cable or to sit and read, though. I wonder if I could schedule these things in, too?

Comments Off on Vacation From Life | Catergorized: life


Bloody Hot

It’s been bloody hot out here in San Francisco. I think I’m melting in this 90 degree (32C) heat… of course anything over 80 (27C) and I start suffering.

I think I should have the opposite migratory patterns of birds, heading north in the summer and south in the winter and waving hello to my avian friends somewhere in between.

Comments Off on Bloody Hot | Catergorized: grrr  life  san francisco


Not Bill – Live

Not Bill is playing tomorrow night, Wednesday the 28th, at Ireland’s 32. Exact start time is unknown but if you get there by 9:30PM you should be fine, and if you get there earlier and have a drink or two you’ll be even better! This show will feature the premier of our new bass guitar player, Dave Becker (sucker!) and a brand new song.

Ireland’s 32 is located at 3920 Geary Blvd in San Francisco. That’s right near 3rd Avenue. Feel free to bring along more hecklers!

1 Comment | Catergorized: audio  friends


Double Click

I do not understand some people; why do they double click on links or buttons on the internet? Links are designed to be single clicked. I work in an office where I see people double clicking on them all the time. I know people who are generally technically savvy double clicking. I find posts on my site and other sites that have double posts because they double click on the “Post” button.

Here’s the lesson of the day for you, dear readers who do not know better: on the internet, one click will do.

5 Comments | Catergorized: geek  grrr


SUV Solution

People who drive SUVs piss me off. Not because they probably have small penises or low self esteem issues. Not because they are burning up all the gas on the planet. Not because they make up for their small IQs by trying to look cool in a vehicle that makes them look like a midget. They piss me off because they are always in my way when I’m trying to get somewhere.

It seems to me that people who drive SUVs should have a special license to drive one, just like people need special licenses for motorcycles or 18 wheelers. It makes sense to me. Charge them extra for it, make them *have* to attend special classes. Someone besides the oil and auto companies deserves to make some money off these people. Also by charging more for the license some states might even dig themselves out of debt.

Create a special mandatory lane on highways for SUVs. SUVs are not allowed to be out of this lane unless entering or exiting the highway. The speed limit in the lane will be half that of the highway (rounded down) at all times. Thus a 65MPH zone becomes a 30MPH.

SUV drivers should not be allowed to wash their vehicles. Ever.

SUVs should be designed with a huge flat panel television on the back end so at least when I am stuck in traffic I can watch what I want rather than nothing at all. The owner will be required to have a satellite hook up.

Ultimately I think SUVs should be banned from the highways all together, just as fork lifts are not allowed to casually drive around the interstates. They should have special permits (and police should be encouraged to enforce the permits) if they want to go on any trip that does not include cross country driving, loads of dirt, loads of water (at least 14″ deep), minimum 35 degree inclines, and dangerous wildlife (children do not count). Visits to the grocery store, day care, after school games, work, and “a friend’s house” should have heavy fines and/or prison terms.

I do not mind SUVs by themselves. It is merely the drivers behind the wheels. I do not wish them to burn in hell, but I do wish they would at the very barest minimum get off the roads when I am on them.

Comments Off on SUV Solution | Catergorized: grrr  thoughts


Up Hill Both Ways

Up Hill Both Ways is a comedy troupe based in San Francisco. I am not one to goto alot of live shows, let alone comedy shows, but I have a firm appreciation for Monty Python whom I regard as as sort of Father of Sketch Comedy. Up Hill Both Ways is the recalcitrant son of this father. Their humor was spot on (though some of it you have to live in San Francisco to get) and the acting was fun and alive. The show I saw was semi-improvised; they put the names of all of the sketches in a hat and let the audience pull them out one at a time. This created an atmosphere of sponteneity and some amount of improvisation as they obviously had to adapt quickly. The entire team worked well together and I am looking forward to seeing them again!

Comments Off on Up Hill Both Ways | Catergorized: life  san francisco


The Matrix Sequels

I finally got around to watching the third installment of the Matrix trilogy. I’ve decided the second and third movies suck. If you haven’t seen them don’t bother. They were fine special effects and fight romps, but the intelligence and cleverness of the first movie was gone gone gone. You might want to see it once just so you can say, “Yeah, I saw that those sucky sequels,” but that’s it.

It’s sad, really, because the first movie had so much going for it. I’m sure that the secretive brothers Wachowski had good intentions for the other two, as well, but failed miserably in the execution. That is giving them the benefit of the doubt and assuming they had a message to deliver in the first place.

The suckiness of the latter two movies reminds me of hot new bands. Their first album rocks because they’ve already been together for a while, sometimes years, and can pick and choose their best material for their first album which they’ve honed and perfected over long periods of time. When it’s time for their second album they have a very short amount of time to come up with a lot of material and most bands fail at this point miserably. Double that with the expectations their first album delivered and you have an instant roadmap to obscurity.

I think this is why it’s good to be well recieved but not lauded on your first go out, otherwise you will burn out before you even get a chance to make a name for yourself.

Comments Off on The Matrix Sequels | Catergorized: movies


Got Cookee?

I was playing around with search engines today, specifically Amazon’s new A9 search engine and noticed:

Heather and Dave have finally done something with C.ookee!

Shocking. There’s still not much there, but it’s a million miles better than the “Under Construction” sign that was there previously…!

UPDATE 2006.09.30: C.ookee is no longer around (at least it won’t be for long). Dave is out of the picture and Heather has her own blog here.

Comments Off on Got Cookee? | Catergorized: family  site


Full Names

This isn’t a profound thought, but every once in a while it reveals itself and I furrow my eyebrows in strange observation. Wow, that was a mouthful.

The situation is this: we know many celebrities by their full names. Yet alot of these stars to their family, friends, and coworkers are known by their short names. Imagine walking up to Robert DeNiro and saying, “Hi Bob. How are things?”

Other people we know by their full names. I use their short names in a quote to express the ridiculousness of identifying them with anything but their full name.

Harrison Ford. “Hey, Harry. How’s your wife?”
William H. Macey. “That Bill… what a funny guy!”
Angelina Jolie. “Angie, what’s for dinner?”
Anthony Hopkins. “Yo! Tony!”
President Gerald Ford. “Gerry, did you take you pills today?”
Aldous Huxley. “Have you been dipping into the soma, Al?”
Elizabeth Hurley. “I heard Liz thows a smashing party.”

Sometimes a string of names is so identified with a person that you can’t seperate just a first or last name. Imagine calling Jack Nicholson by just his first name, Jack. Or Billy Bob Thornton by Billy or worse, Bill. Julia Roberts… Julia.

Like I said this isn’t a profound thought, but the next time you see Harrison Ford in any of his movies look at him and in your mind call him Harry. You’ll see just how strange name identity is.

2 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts


Democracy Won’t Work

Democracy won’t work in the Middle East, especially Iraq, despite all the effort we put into it. There are three reasons I see for this: a lack of a broad middle class, a medieval mindset, and a lack of individuality.

First of all the Middle East, despite recent oil wealth, has a vast powerless underclass of poor and miniscule overclass of the powerful rich. These powerful rich families have no incentive to change the order of things. Afterall, they are not the ones suffering. One of the reasons democracies have flourished in North America and Europe is because we have a large, healthy middle class. In Europe democracy didn’t take root until the feudal system was challenged by the slowly growing middle class that wanted and demanded its own voice and power. Poor peasants are easy to trample underfoot. The middle class, because of its relative economic power, is not so easy to ignore.

Second, the Middle East is trapped in a medieval mindset. Recently a video was found in Spain in the wreckage of an apartment where several terrorists blew themselves up rather than be taken alive. The terrorists say they are killing people to force Spain to pull its troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and because Spain kicked out the Moors 400 years ago. Long ago Islam saved our Western culture by being sophisticated enough to preserve Greek philosophy and many other important texts of the time. They also advanced mathematics and medicine significantly. Depite this Islam has itself advanced little in the ensuing centuries. Patrician tribal structures are normal. You will still hear grumbling about the Crusades. Like our Dark and Middle Ages, their established religious leaders hold more power than anyone else and the call to institute Sharia, Islamic Law, is far more powerful than any call for a democracy, or even a monarchy.

Third, the typical Middle Easterner does not think or act as an individual. They may be led by individuals but the population does not have an individualistic tradition. The most “successful” countries in the Middle East are monarchies or dictatorships. In Iraq when the Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani (an individual) quietly decided he did not like the Interim Constitution or government of Iraq the entire process or “reform” almost ground to a halt. The point here is that the populations do not make decisions for themselves but look to other individuals, leaders, to make the great decisions for them. Often the decisions are simply forced on them. They do not question the wisdom of these decisions as most critical individuals would.

These three problems, individually but especially in combination, make a democracy almost impossible. Worst of all, we are trying to impose the democratic template upon a people who cannot fit the template. Here in America democracy worked because we already had a growing middle class economy which was quite modern and educated (for the day) who had a want and need for personal individuality that grew out of being English subjects in a land where England had no real relevance.

I am not sure what the best solution would be. The easy solutions are distinctly un-American: set up a monarchy or dictatorship to beat them into absolute submission, or do it ourselves. Neither is a good idea. Ultimately you want to start economic reforms which build the wealth of a broad base of their society, not just a few individuals, and to encourage individual thinking though education and drawing people away from the mouths of the religious leaders.

Whatever the solution, however, I predict a democracy will not be successful in Iraq. Iran has possibly the most democratic government in the Middle East and they must still bow down to the religious decisions of the Supreme Leader Khamenei; Iran’s democracy is a breath away from a sham. I fear that once the template democracy we impose on Iraq is established and we pull out the country will evaporate into civil war. I sincerely hope I am wrong, but I have the feeling that I am right.

1 Comment | Catergorized: political  thoughts
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