Saturday, June 11, 2005

and i quote

"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes that you can do these things. Among them are a few Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or businessman from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1952

Friday, June 10, 2005

amen sister!

no, i will not have coffee with you.

feel free to skip the several paragraphs at the beginning to get to the real meat of the post:
On our date, I want to see you eat something. I want to know right off the bat if you are one of those "delicate eaters" who has to inspect every bite and scrape it around on the plate in an elaborate food Kabuki. I want to see you laugh at something or enjoy something or hate something. I want to see if you can hold your liquor or if you order 9 beers to my two in a 2-hour period. I want to know if agreeing on what movie to see is going to take up half my week. I want to learn something about you that you couldn't have just told me in an email. I want to see what you look like swaying to the house band in a dive bar. I want to see what songs you pick out on the jukebox. I want to see if you are game enough for karaoke. Look, I will watch you paint fucking pottery if it tells me something about who you are. Let's bowl. Let's go to free Tuesday at the Art Institute. Let's eat sandwiches on a park bench and watch people walk by. Let's fly kites. Let's ride bikes. Let's hop on the eL and try to see how many stops we can hit in a day. Let's play poker for pennies. Let's go to experimental theater or the Uptown Poetry Slam. Let's listen to terrible Mexican bands in the basement of the local anarchist collective. Let's go to the Observatory and look at the stars. Not everything has to cost money, or be weighed with Great Emotional Significance.

Because sitting across from you over a cup of coffee is not working. You never want to call me again. I never want to call you again. It's too forced. The light is too bright. The people around us clack away on their laptops. We can't even commit to an hour in each other's company, we're hedging our bets already. You talk, and talk, and talk about your job until I glaze over. I pull out all my best stories and try too hard to be funny. We are bored from the get-go.

So, boys of Chicago, are you listening? No more Coffee Dates the first time out. It is the path of least resistance. It is emasculating you. It is part of the culture that says "be safe, be detached, don't be too needy or geeky or freaky, keep it all on the surface, don't make a move, don't meet in a bar (that's sleazy), don't talk about anything controversial." This is an amazing city, full of life and things to do, and I know we can do better.

the information chasm widens

this morning while perusing cnn, i stumbled across an article on how google maps is being paired with existing external statistical data to some very creative ends. rocks, or if you are looking to rent an apartment or buy a home in major cities, google maps have been blended with the ever-popular craigslist. (by the way, when does roanoke get a craigslist? yes. i have emailed them.)

and the Patriot Act is going to protect me how? clearly what i was saying yesterday about the misunderstanding of how information is stored, manipulated and retrieved is evident here. the gap between those who get it and those who don't is growing. fotunately, those of us who get it like to share.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

and this makes sense HOW?

the patriot act is being expanded. The FBI has gained new powers to demand documents from companies without a judge's approval, as well as the ability to designate subpoenas as secret and punish disclosure of their existence with up to one year in prison. Would someone please explain to me how this actually might stop terrorism? i'm lost here. Since the beginning of the Patriot Act, we have been told that this legislation was necessary to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on information. But it seems to me that those making the laws and giving out powers reminiscent of the McArthy age have no real understanding of how information is retrieved. i mean, how can the Patriot Act stop anything when we have resources such as 3D mappings of major cities? it all seems very short-sighted, a misapplication of legislation at the best, and a wholesale dismissal of basic tenets of the Constitution at worst.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005


wow. there is something about fishing that totally restores me. all seems to be coming along nicely as the school year winds down and summer rears its sunny head. ethan graduated from being a tiger cub to being a wolf cub on monday, and i had end of the year conferences with both boys' teachers today -- just as i suspected, they are wonderful and brilliant and charming. :) the school celebration is tomorrow evening, and we are looking forward to an evening of artistic entertainment and enthusiasm.

when we aren't playing around or sorting through the remains of the house remodeling, we are putting things together for a Father's Day beach trip. The boys and i usually go to the beach at the end of august, just before school starts again, but we decided that we might need an extra one this year and are looking forward to playing in the surf.

i spent the day fishing yesterday with one of my friends, and we caught two fish, both rainbow trout. mostly, he does the casting and i do the reading of the river and love the fact that i'm in the water and out of the city. fishing is a glory. i keep walking around and randomly saying, all tickled, "we caught twooooo fish!"

fishing on a different front, i have applied for a technical writer position. here's hoping that the luck from the river holds.

Monday, June 06, 2005

v. i. lenin

it is interesting to me that the same man who said "One man with a gun can control one hundred without one" also said "It would be the greatest mistake to think that concessions mean peace.Concessions are nothing but a new form of warfare." these two quotes, juxtaposed, seem to sum up the twentieth century for me.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

festive sunday afternoon

the boys and phillip and i went downtown to roanoke's annual Festival in the Park. we watched kn0w1 and tree in their kung fu school's demonstration and then stayed for the Russian American Kids Circus. i ended up being one of the volunteers to try to stand on the circus ball. kn0w1 got footage of my antics, which, as Tiger said "were pretty cool, except that part where you kept falling down." [could kn0w1 have been out of tape by then? o but no.]

all in all, it was a hot, sunny, lovely way to spend the afternoon.

Friday, June 03, 2005


today the tile is being laid in the dressing room, and tomorrow the grout is being put in. could it finally come to pass that the destruction is just about over? i need to paint the office, the kitchen, and the dining room ceiling, deal with Donate Mountain and begin putting my house and my life back together.

small bites, but it looks as though the end is in sight.

notes: i think the kitchen will be a venetian red. the office and the downstairs bathroom will be pale yellow. yes, i'm still putting the blackboard paint back up, even over the new plaster.

i'm sick enough of remodeling that i think the tile for the kitchen, the tile and standing shower for the laundry room, and the roof for the deck are simply going to have to wait a year or so. the most i feel i can commit to doing at this point is putting gas logs in the fireplace, and even that probably won't happen until october.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

one liners

B'Trey writes Does this mean I get to wear a cool fedora and carry my distro CDs in a violin case?

When i read Jon Katz's Geeks, there was one line that never left me, even though the whole book is worth reading: "We run the systems that run the world." It's true you know, and becoming more true every day. Right now i'm really giving the idea of what i want to do with my life a serious look. The boys are in school, and more than ever i feel as though i can make decisions again, not only that i can, but that i must.

Some of the candidates in the running are:
  • Acquisitions librarian
  • Systems librarian
  • Forensic nurse, preferably pediatric
  • Forestry
  • Linux system adminstration
Kind of all over the board until you realize that i'm looking for something that involves detail, is a semi-autonomous or autonomous job, and involves puzzles or big pictures.