Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Nip Culture

I just took my dog for a walk around the neighborhood and was struck again about a strange phenomena. Where Hilldale Road and Green Street meet, there aren’t any houses close by. In fact, there’s a stretch of Green Street where no houses line the road due to the slope of the hill. So what happens is that this stretch of road is littered with trash. The waste consists of the usual water and soda bottles and fast food debris, but the main ingredient is nips. Lots and lots of nips, typically vodka, and mainly Stoli Vodka. Hell, I picked up seven of them myself yesterday, and those were just the ones within grabbing distance of the road!

I’m assuming that this is where the “kids” drive by to dispose of their drinking containers so they don’t leave incriminating evidence in the cars when they get home, but my questions are:

- Why nips? Can’t they get a bottle and squirrel it away somewhere?
- Where are they getting them?

I did my share of underage drinking back in the day, but I can’t ever remember doing so via nips. Bizarre.

Like a Clarion

I'm getting excited about Thursday's Church show. Steve Kilbey's blog The Time Being is usually interesting reading, and today's posting is no exception:

...and the churches journey begins
trawling thru wrecked lives
and impossible futures
and broken hearted romeos
and dirty horny devils
and futuristic pasts
and timeless distances
and unspeakable things
things of great wonder
and irony and contempt
and loads of wide eyed fourth form naivete
and drugs and withdrawals and stoned reveries
and voyages into the unknown and just untold
and greek hits n myths and romans and west virginian women
and stupid junkies and crone-like infants
and all the rest of the mess
that i shook outta my pure bread brain...

The Boston Phoenix also had a preview of their show, but it was mainly a disappointing discussion with Marty Willson-Piper about why they're "not an 80s band". Boring. At least MWP made the discussion interesting, no small feat considering how often he's had to address this "issue":

You could call our music psychedelic, but I think it's more . . . moody. It needs you to come to our party. It's both jagged and dreamy — but at the same time, if you see us live, you're going to see a quite powerful rock band. We have moments of atmosphere and beauty, but lots of heavy moments and wailing solos.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trance Birds

I have no idea what they're called, but I often hear a fascinating bird song when i'm hiking, and called them trance birds because I thought that their song would fit very well into a trance song.

While not incorporated exactly how I would envision it, Susumu Yokota did use the Trance Bird song in his song Zenmai off of Acid Mt. Fuji. You can hear the birds in the first minute of the song, before the beats start.

And if you know the name of the bird, please let me know!

Home Equity

This graphic about home equity is fascinating. Essentially, assuming home prices are about to stablize, this means that removing the bubble of the Bush years, we'll be continuing the slow and steady growth of historical norms.

That's a big if. But i'm just fine with slow and steady.

That's my son...

...drinking Natty Light in a car trunk at a party in New Hampshire.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Radio Silence

Working massive amounts of hours, so don't expect much from me until next week at the earliest. Although with this much rain in the forecast, I may just have to hole up and get some writing done.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

You Who Wronged

A few days ago, in the context of the Iranian uprising, Andrew Sullivan pointed us towards this great poem by Czeslaw Milosz:

You Who Wronged

by Czeslaw Milosz
You who wronged a simple man
Bursting into laughter at the crime,
And kept a pack of fools around you
To mix good and evil, to blur the line,

Though everyone bowed down before you,
Saying virtue and wisdom lit your way,
Striking gold medals in your honor,
Glad to have survived another day,

Do not feel safe. The poet remembers.
You can kill one, but another is born.
The words are written down, the deed, the date.

And you’d have done better with a winter dawn,
A rope, and a branch bowed beneath your weight.

Washington, D.C., 1950

Translated by Richard Lourie

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

In which I brag about running

So I finished the Sharon Timlin 5K in 21:33, for a pace time of 6:56/mile. While I think I could have done better, it was good enough for
18th out of 129 in the males 30-39 age category.

This time was also just a bit faster then my St. Patty's Day 5K, which was 21:44. I'm aiming for the next one to be at least 21:00.

I Might Be a Bit Late to the Party, But...

Lamb's Scratch Bass, off their 2001 LP What Sound, is simply stunning electronica.

The track is an instrumental, 'cause I'm not a fan of the vocals.

Deep Thought

This weather makes me tired. Yawn.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Words about Words

The Ogre does what ogres can,
Deeds quite impossible for Man,
But one prize is beyond his reach:
The Ogre cannot master speech.

About a subjugated plain,
Among it's desperate and slain,
The Ogre stalks with hands on hips,
While drivel gushes from his lips.
—W. H. Auden, British poet and essayist, August 1968, 1968

Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care Reform, or What's the Matter with these Idiots?

As Ezra Klein goes over the inside baseball of the reform movement, I'm amazed at the awful compromises being made. As Digby puts it, this is precisely why we need a public option.

This is what a lost opportunity looks like.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Guitar Phishing

My brother <cough> lent </cough> me the Phish show from Mansfield earlier this month (6/6/09 for you Phish geeks out there). Man, does it rock! I had my doubts that Phish would have it together during their reunion, but Chad swears that now that Trey's sober, he's ripping up the town on every song and, judging by this show at least, he's right. Good stuff there.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Phrases you never thought you'd hear

"Daddy, I'm scared of the cow that lives downstairs."

The Things you Miss

Being at home for an extended period of time, you realize how much you miss when you're stuck in an office. For example, now i'm working from home, but I still can see and hear the little sparrows that have recently hatched in one of our front window boxes. It's hard to see them because the nest is so deep, but they're there. And since today's a surprisingly sunny day, I can hear them peeping away as well. The little things about life - new birds, trees and plants growing - that you miss when you spend the majority of sunlit hours away from your house. I'm glad I'm having an opportunity to witness them.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Word of the Day

Headnodic. Thanks to Pandora.


A new contract came my way suddenly last week, so i'm now ramping up on a new system and probably won't have a lot of free time for the next few days. It's nice to be working again!

Oh, and Pandora rocks.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Automatically Translated Job Postings

Career Builder has given me some good job leads, but this posting send to me was hysterical in it's machine translation syntax:

A venerable insurance company within the underlying market of
operation, is proud to announce yet another feasible entry for
uprising accounting adepts.

Comfort working environment will most definitely justify the necessity
to excel in the vast sphere of professional goals, and thereof lay a
firm foundation for your career advancement.

Salient associates, with profound work knowledge, will assist you in
unwrapping avocation related techniques, which will best integrate
with the development and popularization of high-caliber insurance

Feel free to consider the prerequisites table right below, to amass
the important information.

- This is part time work at home position and can easily combine this
vacancy with other work.
- Your education and status don't matter.
- You will receive payments Direct Bank Deposits and wire transfers
from client within United States and send it by instant payment sistem
such as Western Union. You will receive 5% of processed amount.
- To start work with us you must only have basic checking account at
any bank. Your financial information will never be disclosed to third
- You can work 2-3 hours per day.
- This is not insurance sales position and you don't need to sell
insurance, this is Money Transfer Assistant vacancy.
- You do not spend your own funds and there are no startup fees. All
fees for withdrawal or transferring the money will be deducted from
the deposit.
- We do not ask any personal information and we run business according
to laws of the United States of America.
- Your fixed salary is 2000 USD a month + 5% from each deposit processed by you.
- The main responsibilities will be to fill forms, receive and
transaction money from our clients at the United States to our

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tip of the Hat

To my employment network, hooking me up with no less then five good job tips in the 24-hours from noon yesterday to noon today. Never has being busy felt so good!

Antibiotics are for sick people... or animals

As Matt sez, antibiotics are for sick people, not
"given out routinely as a prophylactic measure so as to make it possible to raise animals in unhealthy and unsanitary environments, while also feeding them cheap corn that makes them ill."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Paid Parental Leave

Matt Yglesias points out a sad truth about the U.S.:

It's standard for countries to offer a certain amount of mandatory paid parental leave as a recognition of the special role parents play in our society (in effect, this measure lowers everyone’s wages slightly and then provides a benefit only to parents, thus enacting a small transfer of resources from non-parents to parents). In the United States, everything must surrender beneath the all-powerful God of flexible labor markets, and "pro-family" conservatives seem fine with that.

I might add that these same "flexible labor markets" are the same ones that dump employees at the first sign of trouble, so I don't understand why we shouldn't push for some basic benefits as part of this trade off. Plus, as I keep hearing these days, our economy is based upon people spending their discretionary income; so if you want new parents - a large portion of society! - to spend more, you should give them incentives and tools to do so, rather then forcing them to spend their vacation time and money to stay home with their newborns.

Quote of the Day

"The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with what it loves."
- C.G. Jung

Sunday, June 7, 2009

First Line of "Ghostwritten"

"Who was blowing on the nape of my neck?"
- David Mitchell, Ghostwritten

This is an excellent book so far (three chapters in). Shaping up to my my favorite since i took on Cloud Atlas

Friday, June 5, 2009

Quote of the Day

Kekulé dreams the Great Serpent holding its own tail in its mouth, the dreaming Serpent which surrounds the World. But the meanness, the cynicism with which this dream is to be used. The Serpent that announces, "The World is a closed thing, cyclical, resonant, eternally-returning," is to be delivered into a system whose only aim is to violate the Cycle. Taking and not giving back, demanding that "productivity" and "earnings" keep on increasing with time, the System removing from the rest of the World these vast quantities of energy to keep its own tiny desperate fraction showing a profit: and not only most of humanity -- most of the World, animal, vegetable, and mineral, is laid waste in the process. The System may or may not understand that it's only buying time. And that time is an artificial resource to being with, of no value to anyone or anything but the System, which must sooner or later crash to its death, when its addiction to energy has become more than the rest of the World can supply, dragging with it innocent souls all along the chain of life.
--Gravity's Rainbow, p. 412

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Want One!

Comix word-balloon shelves. Brilliant.

Ticketmaster is still Evil, lest anyone forget

So I'm purchasing tickets to see The Church down and some corporate monstrosity of a club in Foxborough. So of course they use Ticketmaster to sell their tickets. Tix are only $20.00 for GA, a deal for unemployed saps like me. However, when the time comes to actually buy the tix, what do I see?

Total Convenience Charge(s): US $4.75 x 1
Order Processing Charge(s): US $3.00

This shit is outrageous. There's no reason for these charges, other then Ticketwhore making more money off of the back of honest musicians. And the inconvenient fact that it's at least a 30 minute drive for me to drive down to this place so I could buy the tix myself. So the end result is that I just paid $7.75 to avoid an hour on the road. That's "convenience"?

It's the same thing with the "Convenience Fees" charged by ATMs. No reason to charge them other than corporations can do it with no consequences.

Not going to concerts recently means that I haven't had to deal with Ticketmaster. I forgot how dirty it makes me feel.

It's about time

Tito starts to realize that Nick Green, of all people, is better than Lugo:

The shortstop situation is starting to look less like an even platoon and instead is beginning to look like a job that is more Green's, less Lugo's.