Monthly Archives: June 2010

Shtuff I Read Today

[Post-haste? Um, no. This post is post-posted. That is, I posted it July 8 for June 28, because I forgot to wrap it up then.]

So The Shtuff is a collection of blogs and sites, and news pages, I visited. Some I finished reading. Not all necessarily caught my attention but some I’m thinking others might get something out of. Started at Twitter, then my still anemic Google Reader feed – but the capillary web of bloodshot goodness exploded from there. In no particular order:

•• The Happiness Project: Eight Excellent Tips for Living That My Parents Gave Me … SLATE.com

•• The Happiness Project: Why You Should Force Yourself To Wander … SLATE.com

•• Don’t Be Fooled By Apple … The Street

•• The President vs. the Pop Star on Facebook … The Big Money …. Also, enough with the metaphorical idea that we all like to see a star fall. Try the actual. She has no style because she’s all styles. Truly a mess.

•• Fashion Victim! Lady Gaga takes a bad fall … NYDailyNews.com

•• FleeHarmony.com … The Big Money

•• When Print Becomes Precious … The Big Money (with typo in URL :) )

•• Burger King Blows Its Marketing Wad … The Big Money / Daily Bread … Yeah, juicy, dripping burger’s have never looked so good. (NSFW)

•• Let’s hope it was accidental. And she’s still a damn stunner, honestly on and off court. But the last two paragraphs don’t bode well. –> Jennifer Capriati resting in hospital after ‘accidental overdose’ of prescripition drugs … NY Daily News.

•• HOLY SHIIIIT. God Forbid, ‘My Baby Is Black’ – The Root. — A little treatise on part of a trailer to a film released in 1961.

•• Why Can’t Twitter Handle It’s Record Traffic … The Big Money

•• Airline Food Is More Disgusting Than You Know

•• Michael Jackson: The Writings On The Wall … The Root

•• The most idiotic thing I read today? — Please, Dear Lord, Do Not Let Soccer Become An American Obsession drezner: Foreign Policy …. And WTF, commentators here are verbose

•• Postcards From Hell … Foreign Policy — Um, prepare to tear up. Stunning images

•• Gun-Rights Decision May Have Limited Impact Newsweek.com

•• Why Is It So Hard To Make a White iPhone? The Big Money

•• It’s Been Such a Pleasure Working With You The Big Money

•• It Gets Worse: Apple Censors a Gay Kiss in Oscar Wilde Comic The Big Money

•• Civil Rights Organizations Call Out Kagan The Root

•• Mexico vs. Argentina 2010: At World Cup, Carlos Tevez scores twice as Argentina wins, 3-1 Washington Post

•• West Virginia’s coal country pays tribute to Byrd, who never forgot it Washington Post

•• Kagan’s Hat Trick SLATE.com / Supreme Court Breakfast Table

•• The Narcissism of the Small Difference SLATE.com — It’s hard to find in all the garbage, but occasionally Christopher Hitchens makes a point worth reading and even pursuing

•• One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists TruthDig.com

•• Presidential Memorandum: Unleashing the Wireless Broadband Revolution WhiteHouse.gov — Seems an important milepost to the future. Potentially, anyway.

•• Broadband Availability to Expand New York Times

•• Why We Check In: The Reasons People Use Location-Based Social Networks Read Write Web

•• 21 Unique Location Examples from Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and MyTown Social Fresh

AND … AND … AND

•• Greg Sargent at a WaPO blog forgetting about his own weak-on-the-facts past. His bio is also horribly twee “(in those days people mostly did journalism on paper”) crouched permanently in the defensive position that is the charge against “old media.” As if Politico isn’t old media, as if old media hasn’t moved to the Internet. AS if they’re separate. Exactly the charge he levels against others. Yawning inconsistency or just, yawn?

Which was in response to this quick update from Atlantic columnist Jeffrey Goldberg on the Washington Post’s firing of yet another blogger (though for different reasons than others of the past, Dan Froomkin and Ben Domenech.) His previous post on the subject

•• Dan Froomkin Fired From Wa Po.com Welcome Back To Pottersville — In the way back machine related to the latest Washington Post fracas Along with the following posts: Was Dan Froomkin Fired For Declining Traffic? Froomkin Says No. (Andrew Sullivan/The Daily Dish) …… The Washington Post, Dan Froomkin and the establishment media (Glenn Greenwald/Salon.com) …… The Washington Post fires its best columnist. Why? (Glenn Greenwald/Salon.com, 6/18) ……

•• Who Runs Gov. beta. Seriously Washington Post bloggers are “partnershipped” with them and it’s a fairly innocuous, pretty close to anonymous, in-house entity?

•• A series of Slate articles that I followed solely based on headline worthiness – but then read neough to want to inclue here. Happiness Myth No. 3: Venting Anger Relieves It.” (Or is that Relieves IT. Nice take, didn’t like that the studies cited were mostly not referenced or even linked to. So, “studies” get to an unsupported (to the reader) conclusion. …. Dear Prudence. The Daily Bump and Grind – about a company that makes employees dance when they get rewards / recognition? Seriously, WTF? Wish I knew which company it was. … “On game shows, female host usually lose big.” wherein “lose” wasn’t really supported but “unsupported” was. Surprised, too, that the link was from 2001. Missed shows on The Game Show Network, but the date most likely a factor there.

That one also includes a link to this “poem“:

A quiz-master I’d like to be,
But as I am a girl, you see
Perhaps I will apply to go
As his assistant on his show.
I’ll have to usher in each guest,
Persuading them to do their best:
But if they lose, I’ll have to say
“Bad luck, dear,” or “It’s not your day!”
Each night a different dress I’ll wear,
And not forget to style my hair.
Apart from this I must display
A personality bright and gay.
Won’t mother have a grand surprise—
She hardly will believe her eyes:
“Quick, Dad,” she’ll cry, “Look on the screen—
Just see who’s on with Hughie Green!”

•• No Orgasms, Please. We’re Women (Or ladies if you follow this link??

•• Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia died today, aged 92. He was, famously, still working. The Associated Press had a comprehensive and good article going. Found at the Minneapolis-St.Paul Star Tribune.

•• Wired.com, “Yo Senators: Here’s What You Should Ask Petraeus” Questions inquiring Senators could ask the shoo-in Gen. David Petraeus upon his confirmation hearings. Including, “Let’s be real. That July 2011 drawdown date is bullshit, right?”

•• A nifty Slate piece called, The Agnostic Manifesto, which won’t change my beliefs at all, but has started to make me think I should define them for myself so I can articulate them if anyone asks.

—Yes, Related Pages links works

iOS4 updating on my iPod Touch

and support and implementation is here

I know most of the features won’t be relevant. I HAD to upgrade my iTunes this time too, which I didn’t like. I did it at work, but I’m not going to be a big fan of doing that at home…

Taking a good long while ….

Playing Cards, Antique Like So Last Year

Don’t know for sure but this “antique” playing card listing shows pictures of cards that look exactly like crappy decks of cards you can buy anywhere for the equivalent of $3 or $4. How do I know? I bought a few when I was in Europe as a kid less than 20 years ago. They are all over.

Crappy as in no coating, paper, cheap and nasty.

Critical Update to Office 2008 – in 2010?

“This 12.2.5 update improves security. It includes fixes for vulnerabilities that an attacker can use to overwrite the contents of your computer’s memory with malicious code.

For detailed information about this update, please visit the following Web site http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=190660

And what a ______ update!. Labeled critical. Now I suppose it’s a good thing and I suppose I should be thankful (?) that Microsoft still supports Office for Mac. Oh, and this update is 200.7 MB. W T F ?

(Note: Microsoft AutoUpdate box wouldn’t let me cut and paste that. Grrr.)

I Think I Like Andrew Romanoff

I haven’t paid attention to this Colorado race much – but I know Romanoff was likely asked not to run by the Democrat Party machine. I also know after this letter he sent to supporters today that I like him. Dana Milbank I generally do like, but he’s got several agendas he pursues regularly that can get too inside the deskjockeystrap and just too political, without enlightening anything,.

Romanoff’s letter to supporters starts: “Dana Milbank got my name right — but that’s about it. Mr. Milbank’s attempt to malign my character consumed 13 paragraphs in Sunday’s Washington Post and Monday’s Denver Post. Nearly every paragraph is false or misleading. The newspapers’ decision to publish this work of fiction is disappointing enough. What makes matters worse is Mr. Milbank’s decision to discard the evidence he made a pretense of seeking.”
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Payday Loans Sunset, Attorney General column

Funny, someone just asked about joining a social media team for Terry Goddard. And I believe this is the second or third column I’ve printed at my site. This one is about an industry I have mixed feelings about. It does make you pay extraordinary high interest rates – but on the other hand, it’s not like they hide or try and slip in hidden fees. It’s all up front.

Obviously people in Arizona voted the industry out. My feelings are still mixed and I voted for the industry to say. It’s just another option another tool, people have to stay afloat. If used wisely – and sparingly.

Note – at some point media should stop giving Goddard “My Turn” columns since he’s running for governor and most of his columns are feel good “This is what I’m doing” turns. And he has done a lot of good – and well, my feelings are somewhat mixed here, leaning more positively. So essentially free ad space and more importantly, not giving the same space to opponents.

Making Sure Payday Lenders Don’t Evade Law’s Sunset

(Phoenix, June 14, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard has written the following “My Turn” column about his efforts to ensure that the payday loan industry complies with the expiration of the state’s payday lending law on June 30.

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Opposite End Of The 50

This weekend was marked by change. And unlike so many things, none of it was change merely for the sake of change. Not shifting papers – shifting lives.

Carrie started her first day at work today, Bard Peripheral Vascular in Tempe.
Eddie and Jack started their first day in a new daycare.

I eagerly await the skinny on both. Carrie has the chance to organize and give permanent direction for a new department within the company, or at least within a division of it. I’m not exactly sure. The boys have spent their whole daycare lives in Tucson, so their change is profound. For Jack, 1, there will be confusion but not too many feelings beyond that, I’m guessing. For Eddie, 4, who has been there longer and can talk, and has established relationships with Miss Amber and Miss Elizabeth and friends, it has to be harder. But everyone adapts, and the younger you are, the easier it is – or should be.

You can’t go back; the inexorable, inescapable reality of time – for most mere mortals – is that it won’t stop for you to adjust; it won’t reverse itself for do-overs or to fix those things you really really really wish would rather have not happened. And despite everything that means, both good and bad, it can be no other way. If so, even then, people – of any age – would continue to fail to live in the moment. The push for perfection – where perfection is not needed – already holds too much sway.

There are new beds, new rooms, new stairs, new faucets, new ceilings, new reflections, new angles, new layouts, a new person more regularly in their lives – and four walls. It’s a world of change and they’re getting a big dose of it all at once.

You can’t turn around a life. You can’t retreat a living. It doesn’t do anyone any good.

Carrie moved to Scottsdale this weekend, and since Saturday has slept there; in a place well located to all that Scottsdale has to offer. New place. New job. New – me.

And I tend to downplay my own thing, but, yes, some serious adjustments going on, as well, in my peabrain. My brain has to be alert more during the off-work hours with two amazing children in the house; in my life. With a strong love growing every day; with seemingly everything equally important with equal priority, with me not wanting to screw anything up – and still figuring out what screwing up looks like in these new venues and situations, it’s adjustment that I would indeed wish on my best friends.

It means I’m neglecting some things in my own life to make sure things are going right in others. In very short summary it all means I’m learning, which is always good.

It means I’m now taking the bus on the opposite side of route 50.

Entrez Vous?

IMG00097-1919

So this is a photo taken at about 7pm last evening. When I looked at the cellphone screen, I immediately thought of bright light; the bright light you might see as you die or pass onto the next plane of existence. And the sign in the bottom left hand corner I consciously put in the frame so there would be a pull and a counter-pull in the photo. To me a photo that says something beyond just what it shows is art. Simply evoking a feeling cannot make it art, IMHO, because it reflects only reality. The art therefore is in the existence, not in its capture.

Saying that, composition, certain angles of reality and lighting times can turn a photo into art. This is the first time I think also, that I have deliberately used the cellphones limitations and differences to make a photo. For some reason the Blackberry Storm really takes stellar pictures of the sky and sunsets. I’m going to do another first and try and make a print out of this 3.2MP photo. (This is a scaled down version)

Two other related images at the jump.
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Twitter Terms of Service 9/09, Privacy Policy 11/09

As I set up a Twitter account for SoundLust, I check the Terms of Service. I’m interested because I read recently Even Williams and the boys are selling the entirety of tweets to a certain date for $15 million.

Anyways, they’re below and apparently haven’t been updated since Sept. 18, 2009.

The Privacy Policy will be below the ToS, and were last updated November 18, 2009
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Place of Clear Salt Water

Let him (the White Man) be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not altogether powerless.

Please remind me to write about Chief Seattle, a celebrated environmentalist, whose words we never heeded. A speech I read solidified my desire and effort and mindset to care for the land, even without the religious baggage of having “dominion over all.”

I have a booklet I bought or was given when I lived in Seattle and I think this was the speech it contained. Sadly the account here makes it seem that some of it might have been rhetorical floursh added decades after the occurrence, much like accounts of Jesus that have warped and shaped the Western world and the Manifest Destiny destruction of so many of the the Native American peoples, and some of their ways of living with and as a part of nature.

Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb and wander away beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return. Our dead never forget this beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys, its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays, and ever yearn in tender fond affection over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the happy hunting ground to visit, guide, console, and comfort them. … Ever part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished. Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as the swelter in the sun along the silent shore, thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people, and the very dust upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than yours, because it is rich with the blood of our ancestors, and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.

Dennis Hopper Does Photography

And he does it well.

Two ideas come come to mind viewing these photos. One, inevitably, is does the blog post author use these photos – and perhaps quotes – with permission? Two is, some photos are made amazing amazing by the accident of just being in an iconic place at at an iconic time. Ross Halfin and Linda McCartney photos both have that whiff about them. These Hopper photos have that air about them, though they are undoubtedly rocking photos. I really iike Hopper’s ethos of full-frame shots and the black and white natural lighting images are an important study in contrast.

Flight, Sherman Alexie, Words

My mother died of breast cancer when I was six. I remember a few things about her. Her voice, her red hair, and the way she raised one eyebrow when she laughed. I sometimes wish she’d died when I was younger so I wouldn’t remember her at all. I remember her green eyes.”

– pg 5, “Flight” by Sherman Alexie

In turn, though this quote happens to be about a dead mother, I completely read it through as a quote about a dead father and had to do a double-take after getting about three or four paragraphs past it. I just started the book today. My first exposure to Alexie was through the film Smoke Signals. It was a story and film packed with reflections of a missing father, a failed search and breath-taking takes on the impact he had on the main character’s life. And the final reflection with the shot panning over a river, sticks in my head, though out of context it needs context:

How do we forgive our fathers? Maybe in a dream. Do we forgive our fathers for leaving us too often, or forever, when we were little? Maybe for scaring us with unexpected rage, or making us nervous because there never seemed to be any rage there at all? Do we forgive our fathers for marrying, or not marrying, our mothers? Or divorcing, or not divorcing, our mothers? And shall we forgive them for their excesses of warmth or coldness? Shall we forgive them for pushing, or leaning? For shutting doors or speaking through walls? For never speaking, or never being silent? Do we forgive our fathers in our age, or in theirs? Or in their deaths, saying it to them or not saying it. If we forgive our fathers, what is left?

Having lost my own father, having occasionally thought how life might have been different with any father figure early on in my life (none after about three to about 10) – who died when I was older but I never met again, it was devastating when I watched Smoke Signals and completely snatched my breath and ripped down tears. It will be again when I watch it again – and I need to read the book, as well. Now, when I do it will have new, painful layers of meaning because of new people in my life who I love dearly and deeply, whose father passed away. The film’s father is flawed, violent absent, as mine undoubtedly was. Still, father, right? And I’m stepping into that role with purpose and an awareness of the awesome responsibility it entails.

Public Karma

This morning a man on a bus was struggling to find change to get on the bus. A man in a ice shirt, pants, but young, giving off the air of first big job, first ay at work. I doubt that was true, but still, he was turning his pockets, taking to the driver.

As i looked up again, he asked if anyone had change for a $10. “I don’t but I have a couple of bucks,” I said. The under my breath, muttering after the first pocket came up empty, “I think.”

I found them. Two dollar bills. He paid, passed me said thanks. I nodded. I thought about engaging him i conversation, but I really just wanted to read, so did the less selfish thing and did what I wanted. We didn’t exchange another word, but I know how my day would have been completely effed up to discover I’d be late for the reason of such a small triviality as not having the right change.

I had a work day. I left. took bus. Got off at Central and Camelback light rail station, and some people were obviously paying attention as they started jogging toward the tracks from the busstop. I walked, fast, but as I got right to the front of the train, the doors started closing. I sighed.

Then they stopped closing and reopened. I saw a Shamorck Farms strawberry m,ilk plastic bottle right in the way iof the doors, I walked on and kicked it out of the way.

We were underway.

KARMAI immediately thought of the morning and karma. Karma to me is ephemeral. It was actually part of my (thankfully) limited religious upbringing. My mom spent more time attending Theosophy Lodges (the Theosophy Lodge?) than any other religious institution I can think of.

And checking it up on Google, my interest is renewed. Wihout going into any of that, I’ve thought of karma as an energy. Power, electricity, thoughts, radio, come at you in negative and positive energies. I’m not sure how to define positive and negative at the moment, but you create good around you and good will come back to you. In decidedly unpredictable ways. As a building volume of energy it can attract other good energy. Electircity needs both positive and negaticve ions to exist, so the energy I’m thinking of works at a lower wavelength that can sometimes travel without reference to time. sometimes it’ll be months, years, sometimes instantaneous. Over time it may be counterbalanced by interveaning negative ripples.

Hard to explain, considering I just riffed the paragraph above.