Archive for February, 2005

2005.02.28

Zzyzx Road

I remember my Dad telling me about this road a very long time ago. The funny thing is I’ve always remembered him telling me it was in Ohio somewhere. My brain places is somewhere near Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University and not the humid one with a Latino flair. I was actually starting to do some actual research into the name and location when I found that link above… It goes into far more detail than I ever could.

Back in high school, that cauldron of hormonal hope and social anxiety, I made a survey to determine the name of the band we’d started. Zzyzx was on that list and ranked reasonably high. Somewhere I still have the final statistics. I’ll have to look those up…

Comments Off on Zzyzx Road | Catergorized: life

2005.02.28

Yoink!

Has anyone heard of the Council for National Policy (CNP). If you’re a liberal you might feel like this after reading about them. Scary folks.

Meanwhile try counteracting the conservative angle with a few talking points. It’s wacky. Yoink!

Sorry this is a lame entry. I just want to finish the challenge… See this if you really want to read about my “excuse”. Still, the CNP is freaking scary and I wanted to see if anyone knew about them.

1 Comment | Catergorized: political

2005.02.28

X Marks the Spot

But why? Bloody hell, why?

2 Comments | Catergorized: thoughts

2005.02.28

Wild and Dangerous Future

Jon E. just turned me on to a pretty cool show on Discovery called The Future is Wild. Being a big fan of speculative fiction, I seem to be the demographic they were targeting for the series. Being a huge fan of “in demand” on our cable box, Jon E. made sure I watched this and when wasn’t an issue since it’s one of the free offerings. Yes, he’s looking out for my best interest.

What if, two million years in the future after humanity’s diaspora throughout the galaxy, we sent probes to Earth to see how things were going for the life forms left behind? How would some of the creatures and trends of today evolve?

While I think a few of the names they came up with for some of the creatures were kind of dorky like the flying fish thing, cleverly called a Flish, or the land based squid that swings through the trees like a gibbon, called a squibbon. Despite this the possible future is interesting and just a slight bit scary to contemplate. In fact there wasn’t a single cute and cuddly creature in the future. Panda fans everywhere will be disappointed.

Looking at the website it looks like there is more to see. I’ll have to figure out how to use this “in demand” thing myself so I can catch it when it’s on next.

Comments Off on Wild and Dangerous Future | Catergorized: science  tv

2005.02.28

Vineyards in the Bay Area

I confess that I really like wine. Lucky for me I live in San Francisco and have tons of great wineries within easy driving distance. I love the Sonoma Valley and am a big fan of Ravenswood Zinfandel and anything from the very small but amazingly good Kaz Winery. They have one, a Lenoir, which is just amazing.

Regardless of where you live, give me a list of your favorite wines in the comments. I want to branch out and try a few new things. My only request is that they are somewhat affordable and available in America because I’m not so ambitious as to travel to far away lands. At least not unless someone else is footing the bill.

Comments Off on Vineyards in the Bay Area | Catergorized: food-drink  san francisco

2005.02.28

Random Quote from the Recycling Bin

I’m cleaning up a lot of old papers in my room. I found this great quote I scrawled on something I printed out ages ago.

“In my school, being smart is exactly like being radioactive.”

I have no idea what the context of that quote was, but wow, isn’t that true!

3 Comments | Catergorized: writing

2005.02.28

A Tablet for Aziza Manga

Yesterday Jon E. and I went shopping. The big item we picked up was a Wacom tablet. I’ve wanted one of these things for years, but it was never a priority for me. I’ve always felt Jon E. could benefit, however, as he’s an artist and working to produce his first comic book. Hopefully he can get through the first week of learning the ropes and then start cranking out art.

Comments Off on A Tablet for Aziza Manga | Catergorized: apple  friends  technology

2005.02.28

Stephen King; Dreamcatcher

Stephen King, Dreamcatcher
Dreamcatcher

by Stephen King
I have never read a Stephen King book. I’ve never felt the urge. In some ways I think it’s a case of hearing so many people rave about him that I shy away. This changed when I picked up Dreamcatcher on the cheap and gave it a try. I remembered seeing parts of it on late night cable from the movie adaption but no real details.

The story isn’t anything complex, though there are many facets to how to look at it. Four boys rescue a fifth who happens to be retarded. Despite this they befriend him and discover later in life that there is a special bond between them all. This is a psychic bond created by the retarded boy, Duddits.

Fast forward many many years. The boys are men and have to one degree or another grown apart. Despite this, once a year, they get together to hunt. This is a tradition they started very early in their lives and it’s something they look forward to every year. It is on one of these hunting trips that the bulk of the book focuses on. Unknown to the four men, their fifth member is dying and aliens are about to attempt an invasion of planet Earth.

Stephen King is very good at illustrating characters in ways that are simple yet profound, and even better at demonstrating how they interact with each other. I was more than willing to overlook the obvious problems with his portrayal of the military because the story being told was very engaging. Without giving away the plot, pick it up and give it a read. You’ll get through it quickly. Then, if you’re like me, you’ll want to see the movie. Once I’ve done that I’ll give a review of that and go in to more details.

I give the book an 8 out of 10.

Comments Off on Stephen King; Dreamcatcher | Catergorized: books

2005.02.28

Rail Systems in Decline

Once upon a time in America there were rail systems in many major cities around the country. In many ways we looked very European with our trams plying streets and roads between businesses and residential areas. You can still see the relics of these rail systems in some places like the famous trolleys and fuctional light rails in San Francisco or the tracks peeking out from under the poorly kept pavement under the streets of Georgetown.

In these days of much needed public transportation to help the rich folks get their under paid workers where they need them, you’d think that public transportation would be in everyone’s interest. Yet the bus syndicates, partly helped by the oil conglomerates, killed the street car system almost everywhere. “We can do it cheaper and faster,” they said, “These rails are in the way and the trams are loud and unsightly.” They claim buses are faster and more maneuverable.

Yet they clogged the streets with their traffic, clogged the air with their pollution, and are almost never on time. When I lived in Prague I could look at a schedule and know exactly when the tram would show up. In some cases we waited before leaving because the tram was actually ahead of schedule. If I look at a schedule for a bus I’m wasting my time. They don’t wait if they are ahead of schedule, they are usually behind schedule, and if it’s rush hour just forget it; you’re faster on foot.

In this city I see thriving communities along the rail lines with a nice mix of residential and small business. If there is any of this along the bus lines then it seems built up because of sheer attrition. No one here wants to take a bus. America needs to get rid of them in her urban environments. We need and deserve something better than the bus systems municipalities were convinced to get.

Comments Off on Rail Systems in Decline | Catergorized: dc  political  prague  san francisco  technology

2005.02.28

Quality Versus Quantity

As I’m coming towards crunch time to complete the February Blogging Challenge I realize I am suddenly facing an issue of quantity versus quality. I’ve got nine more entries to get done before the end of tomorrow. For some bloggers that is not a big deal. They post links with lame commentary that sometimes seems profound (and I guess it is if enough folks buy into it) but my weakness is that I like to write substantive entries.

This is the same problem I used to face writing snail mail back in the old days of just a decade ago. I felt that a letter was not substantial unless it was at least ten pages. These weren’t ten pages of drivel, though maybe it seemed that way to the recipient. I tried to make sure what I wrote had a quality above that of triviality. Yet to crank out nine more articles will diminish the quality of my writing in favor of quantity. In fact many of the previous articles I’m a bit shamed of since I’m hitting crunch time.

So, an apology if some of these are short, “sweet”, and to the point. Normally I would like to delve into a topic and I just don’t have time.

1 Comment | Catergorized: life  thoughts  writing
« Politics As Gladiatorial Sport      Rail Systems in Decline »« Older Entries     Next Page »