Down the rain falls
swirling in the street
big drops the size of candy
bounce when they hit the ground
the rain falls
washes all the filth away.
Down the rain falls
Anne Lamott recently posted this insightful editorial to Salon.com : (see the original here)
March 29, 2006 | I'm drawn to almost any piece of writing with the words "divine love" and "impeachment" in the first sentence. But I know the word "divine" makes many progressive people run screaming for their cute little lives, and so one hesitates to use it. Also, we all know that there isn't going to be an impeachment any time soon.
However, maybe there is the chance of a calm, polite revolution, and perhaps in lieu of "divine love" we could use the idea of simple "kindness." Consider, just for the sake of argument, how good people, in a democracy that has been taken over by cold, rich, scary, armed white men, might proceed.
Good people who have watched their country's leaders skid so far to the triumphal right would have to do something. I mean, wouldn't they? Am I crazy? Otherwise, those people's children will ask them someday, when we are all living in caves, "What did you do to try and save us?" And the children will be so angry, and they are so awful and unpleasant when they are mad, even in the dark.
I, for one, do not want to answer that I did nothing, or that I ranted and flailed, showing up to support my own interest groups, candidates and concerns.
Instead, I think we should lay down our differences, and have a revolution. I am wondering if July 14 works for everyone.
My father wrote a great novel about an antiwar march in 1970, called "The Bastille Day Parade," in which many protesters carried signs that read, "Turn Off the Lie Machine." In choosing July 14, I would like to pay tribute to him and to the people of his generation, who are surely turning in their graves, as if on rotisseries, with horror about life in their beloved America. They were passionate in their fight against fascism, and Joseph McCarthy, their commitment to civil rights, and to libraries, and to good manners. All of us were raised to be polite, as honest as we could manage, and to live as if the word "fair" meant something, which all sounds a little Amish at this point. A renewal of these values would be the major plank of this revolution.
In this revolution, there will not be any positions except kindness, and libraries. We will not even have a battle cry, as that can lead to chanting, and haranguing: Hey, hey, ho, ho, all that chanting's got to go! We would simply look one another in the eyes, shake our heads, and say, "This just can't be right." We will not try to figure out what it all means: Iraq, Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib, Terri Schiavo, abortion rights, the Downing Street Memo, domestic spying, immigration, the Kyoto Accords, the Geneva Connections, Tom DeLay -- none of it. We all know what kindness means, and I think we can all agree that libraries are sacred, and our revolution will decree that we will fight tooth and nail for these things, politely.
Mostly we will show up and say things like, "Giving India massive nuclear assistance? I don't know -- that just can't be right." "Madge, maybe I'm nuts, but John Bolton, at the U.N.? Can that be right?"
I am hoping for a large turnout even though so few people showed up to mark the third anniversary of the war in Iraq. This was dispiriting, but let's not dwell on it. That was then, almost two weeks ago. This is now. Nearly 50 million people voted for Kerry, and I'm hoping for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 million (although I know the press will way underreport the turnout). We need precinct leaders to get the word out, although not the kind who go door-to-door while people are eating, then threaten sweetly to come back later. Bitter neighbors are the very last thing this revolution seeks.
We would all show up on Bastille Day, propelled by the ferocious, heartbroken belief we've carried since childhood, that America is a republic, of 50 states, united and humane.
It would be nice if everyone would turn off his or her cellphone that day.
Also, I thought we could all wear green -- not because we have an environmental position we are pushing, but because trees, grasses and the natural world are just so incredibly beautiful and precious. Nature = life. Some will suspect that this is inching dangerously close to a "position," what with everyone in green, hundreds of shades of green -- and if I am being honest, it's true that the tiniest point might be made that a black-and-white worldview, a Manichaean good vs. evil color scheme, is wearing out its welcome.
Additionally, it would be great if everyone could bring a bit of fruit to share, and maybe a few dollars, in case one runs into someone desperately poor.
Bananas are great, as I believe them to be the only known cure for existential dread. Also, Mother Teresa said that in India, a woman dying in the street will share her banana with anyone who needs it, whereas in America, people amass and hoard as many bananas as they can to sell for an exorbitant profit. So half of them go bad, anyway.
Maybe, come to think of it, that wasn't Mother Teresa. Maybe that was Ram Dass, or my neighbor Irmgaard, but it doesn't matter. Trust me: Fruit is a nice touch. Apples, oranges, it doesn't matter, and it would not be mandatory that you bring any fruit at all.
All we would ask is that you show up and help us foment a revolution, based on kindness and that silly old idea our parents taught us, about fairness. Maybe we'd sing "My Country, 'Tis of Thee." No offense in that, really, is there?
But we won't sing that if it is going to stir up a lot of debate and screeds and distraction. I was just thinking that both of my parents died here, on this land that they loved. They were both born abroad. A lot of our parents have died, people who made sure their children read John Steinbeck, Rachel Carson and Langston Hughes. I would show up for my parents, by proxy.
Never mind; we don't have to sing that song. Still, I cry when I hear it.
We will just all come together. Bastille Day. Ix-nay on the cellphones and the speeches. Like Woody Allen said once before I turned on him, 80 percent of life is just showing up. We will show up and foment a loving revolution, wearing green: I just looked up "foment," to make sure that this is what I meant. It comes from the Latin "fomentum," which means a warm poultice. One of the definitions is to apply a warm cloth, dipped in warm water or medication, to a body that needs healing; and that is exactly what I meant.
I'm thinking noon-ish.
from the mind of Nerdwife at 11:56
There was an addendum to this week's Savage Love, Dan Savage makes a good point and people should take note:
Straight Rights Update: Earlier this month Republicans in South Dakota successfully banned abortion in that state. Last week the GOP-controlled state house of representatives in Missouri voted to ban state-funded family planning clinics from dispensing birth control. "If you hand out contraception to single women," one Republican state rep told the Kansas City Star, "we're saying promiscuity is okay." On the federal level, Republicans are blocking the over-the-counter sale of emergency contraception and keeping a 100 percent effective HPV vaccine—a vaccine that will save the lives of thousands of women every year—from being made available.
The GOP's message to straight Americans: If you have sex, we want it to fuck up your lives as much as possible. No birth control, no emergency contraception, no abortion services, no life-saving vaccines. If you get pregnant, tough shit. You're going to have those babies, ladies, and you're going to make those child-support payments, gentlemen. And if you get HPV and it leads to cervical cancer, well, that's too bad. Have a nice funeral, slut.
What's it going to take to get a straight-rights movement off the ground? The GOP in Kansas is seeking to criminalize hetero heavy petting, for God's sake! Wake up and smell the freaking Holy War, breeders! The religious right hates heterosexuality just as much as it hates homosexuality. Fight back!
Think about it, if you sit back and let them outlaw Gay Rights, Women's Rights are next, and then Straight Rights. Its time for a backlash, hard and sound and swift. This year vote those fuckers out (whether they be left or right, there are a few Democrats who need it as well).
from the mind of Pernox at 14:29
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): The paradoxes are coming! The paradoxes are coming! It won't be enough merely to solve a few amusing brainteasers. You'll have to find a way to feel perfectly fine as you get squeezed by industrial-strength contradictions that might make a less intelligent person feel crazy. Can you do it? Is it possible for you to remain poised and magnanimous in the face of the pressure to think impossible thoughts and feel indescribable feelings? Can you see how all three sides of every story are equally valid? The potential rewards are substantial: a crispy epiphany, a funky treasure, and the equivalent of a "Get Out of Jail Free" card.
from the mind of Pernox at 14:15
Today is the County Caucus. This is something we didn't have last election. I went right from the precient to the Senate District. But here there is a county caucus between the local and SD.
Be interesting to see how it goes. I am ready for it, breakfast, coffee, read the Times, listened to MPR, reved up my anti-Bush anger. Lets politic!
from the mind of Pernox at 07:56
I am wracking my brain trying to remember the name of a play, a scene of which was performed for my Theatre class (that would have been almost a decade ago). I thought it was Tennessee Williams, but I'm not finding any material that matches what I remember. The scene is God and the Devil (or a fallen angel?) debating the nature of human free will, et al. God makes some remark about humanity having the ability to see the true nature of the world (via science, etc.) and see the "X of my art", where X was either physics, or design, or nature, or something along those lines.
This ranks up there with GeistX' Hooverphonic 'Renaissance Affair' thing...
UPDATE: For the record, the play is "The Creation of the World and Other Business" by Arthur Miller.
"Everybody knows that the world is full of stupid people..." - Refreshments, "Banditos"
The setting: Chipotle
The target of rant: Blonde, bland, SUV driving, Suburban Soccer Mom (homo sapien suburbicus)
I am standing in line at Chipotle at 20:00 waiting to order. Ahead of me is the customer from hell. Here is a transcript:
Customer (BBSDSSM): "I would like the beef tacos."
Server: "Barbacoa or Steak?"
BBSDSSM: "I don't want steak, I want beef."
Server: "Si, which type the Barbacoa or Steak?"
BBSDSSM: "I don't want steak, just give me the beef!"
Server at this points makes the Barbacoa because she has been quite adamant about not wanting the steak.
At the cash register.
BBSDSSM: "Wait! What is this?!? I wanted the beef!"
Cashier: "Its barbacoa, it is beef."
BBSDSSM: "I don't want that! Its too spicy! Give me the beef."
Cashier: "The only other beef when have is the steak, steak is beef."
BBSDSSM: "Fine give me that."
They then proceed to throw away the Barbacoa tacos and make three steak tacos.
The truly sad thing is that she had kids.
from the mind of Pernox at 20:14
del.icio.us, the social bookmarking service has updated their system by popular demand to now allow you to not share bookmarks. This is a nice feature because I have some links at work, for work stuff that I would like to have accessible via something like del.icio.us, but not publically visible.
I am hoping their next step is (and if the tech speaker from Yahoo I saw at LISA is any indication, this is coming since Yahoo acquired del.icio.us) to allow you to setup a community or a friends list, so only certain bookmarks will be shown to select others. So you would have 3 levels of sharing, public, friends, private. That would rock.
from the mind of Pernox at 12:35
Scientologist episode. Enjoy, someone posted this to YouTube.
(PS I had a small ethical dilema posting this embed as technically South Park is a copyrighted work, I did not upload this, I am merely providing a link to someplace where it was uploaded by someone else, this is being used without permission of the original content creators, Trey and Matt, and was linked via YouTube)
from the mind of Pernox at 09:20
Overall rating: B+
Synopsis: In a not so implausible future facist England one man seeks revenge and to free society from the bonds of imprisionment. There is also a quasi-love story.
Pros: Very interesting story. The future feels based off of dark future extrapolations of our present situation. It basically outlines the 20 years following the Iraq War, where America is undergoing a 2nd Civil War and has become a 3rd World nation, England, in response to fear has become a tightly controlled facist state run by the religious zealots of the Conservative Party. Secret Police (Fingermen) enforce morality and curfew. I can see this world if I think about it a little. The underlying metaphor seemed to me to be 'irrational fear leads to enslavement, free yourself from the tyranny of fear and restore reason.'
Cons: The love story. Natile Portman actually did a good job acting, but the love story felt tacked in. A co-worker says that American audiences cannot like a film unless there is a love story in there. I think the movie would have been an A, if they had removed the love story. It didn't really provide anything but awkward dialogue.
I would recommend seeing this movie.
from the mind of Pernox at 19:25
Or rather lack thereof, been terrible about the diet. I've overcompensated to the lack of calories badly, I thought I was rolling back slowly enough (trying to reduce daily calorie intake by roughly 20%), but I think I went to fast, I started having hunger. It also has helped I've been under various stresses lately so the stress response eating has been in full effect where I want comfort foods.
Seriously contemplating going partial vegetarian like nerdwife, but I can't give up sushi.
Going to try again.
from the mind of Pernox at 09:31
Word of the Day for Saturday March 11, 2006
crapulous \KRAP-yuh-lus\, adjective:
1. Suffering the effects of, or derived from, or suggestive of
gross intemperance, especially in drinking; as, a crapulous
2. Marked by gross intemperance, especially in drinking; as, a
crapulous old reprobate.
These were the dregs of their celebratory party: the
half-filled glasses, the cold beans and herring, the shouts
and smells of the crapulous strangers hemming them in on
every side, the dead rinsed-out April night and the rain
drooling down the windows.
-- T. Coraghessan Boyle, Riven Rock
The crapulous life which her future successor led.
-- Lord Brougham, Historical Sketches of Statesmen in the
Time of George III
The new money was spent in so much riotous living, and from
end to end there settled on the country a mood of fretful,
-- Stephen McKenna, Sonia
Crapulous is from Late Latin crapulosus, from Latin crapula,
from Greek kraipale, drunkenness and its consequences, nausea,
sickness, and headache.
Nerdwife sent me this. Wow, for years who knew I was using a real word!
from the mind of Pernox at 09:57
For one week, get very little sleep and go to work before 6am each day. Thursday, get food poisoning. Shake well. Friday evening, consume small to moderate helping junk food; view "Annie Hall" followed by "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"; add one glass of port (ice optional) and eight chapters of "Hard-boiled Wonderland and the End of the World" (H. Murakami). Rest for 8 hours.
Yield: Who needs drugs when you have dreams like these? Holy shit. Try it and see! Share it with your friends!
from the mind of Nerdwife at 11:58
At around 13:00 today I had to take a walk. I had to step away from work for a while, a morning of problems, missed meetings, and pointless plans. I took a walk by myself and had lunch at 'Jimmy John's' a sub shop that I like better than the other franchise sub shops. While I was sitting, lost in thought, and only marginally listening to two businessmen in the booth next to me talk about taking trips to Miami and where to find the good escorts (the converstaion ended with 'Remember to bring bail money') I was pondering many things.
1) How storage is allocated on AIX OS disks (allocated in to Physical Partitions, PPs, discrete pieces of space of a certain size, volumes are built by allocating PPs from wherever free on the disk) vs how Solaris does it (8 slices, slice 2 which is untouchable and sices 0, 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, which are defined via cylinders in to set chunks on which the file systems are built). I was evaluating the pros and cons. I like the AIX way better as it allows for more flexibility, it is a pity that I do not like the AIX OS. If only you could merge the Solaris OS with the AIX LVM.
2) AllThingsSpring is really right, the two dominant parties are just different faces of Janus. They are both racing to the 'middle' which means nothing really. There really isn't much to differeniate them, other than the Republicans have on their half of the spectrum the fanatical evangelical christians, while the left (although not for much longer) have the liberal secular eco-fanatics. But the Democrats haven't realized it yet that they have last the far left side of their party because they try to be too centrist in a vain attempt to win elections against the Republicans. Being a centrist isn't going to win elections anymore, you just end up looking wishy-washy. Democrats, if they want to regain power need to quit going to the center and start making strong stances on issues AND more importantly start challenging their opponents. This also means they have to form a concise message and stick with it, even if the polls go south. I wish I knew a way to trump the GOP's 'fear factor' that they whip out early and flog often. The left needs to understand that no amount of logic or reasoning can counter that, and countering is damn hard. I wish I had the answer to this.
3) The US Patriot Act was renewed, almost unchanged. What happened to the uproar over this? What happened to the promise of investigation and the reworking to protect civil liberties?
4) Instead of investigating the White House on allegations of illegal spying, the GOP controlled Intelligence committee and the Judiciary decided it would be better to not investigate and instead draft legislation to make it legal.
#s 3 and 4 are why we need a shake up in gov't. Unforunately there is usually very little turn over and it is impossible almost to dislodge incumbents, especially after the last round of Gerrimandering, where lines were redrawn to ensure incumbent wins.
I am so glad the mainstream media isn't reporting any of this, we are being screwed but no one knows because our sources of news are corporate owned.
I was happy to hear the independent movie making is on the rise, George Lucas after the Oscar's predicted film is dead. I say about time the old Hollywood dies.
from the mind of Pernox at 13:54
Just got back from my precinct caucus (Ward 2 Precinct 2, CD 30). I feel invigorated and re-enfrancised. Caucuses are grass roots. It is the people's voice. I am DFL and here is my story.
Encourage DFL Congressional endorsed/serving members to increase the gas tax to pay for transportation infrastructure - passed (not unopposed, good issues regarding how a gas tax is a regressive tax were raised, the person bringing forth this resolution did it because if we do not fix our transportation funding in this state, we will lose federal funding, and then suckage will begin)
Troops serving in Iraq to be withdrawn as soon as possible in whichever way is safest - unopposed adoption.
Public education to be fully funded - adopted, dissenters were silent (I support public education, but feel programs like 'No Child Left Behind' are wrong)
Oppose any legislation that would amend the MN Constitution to prevent the marriage of or civil union of or interfere with the rights and legal protections of same-sex couples - unanimously adopted. I was shocked, its not that Rochester is homophobic, but they are not as tolerated as in the Cities, I was pleased to see this.
Discontinue 'Project Columbia' and mandate oversight of funding to the Columbian military be judged based on State Department human rights guidelines such that any military or government group engaging in or colloborating with groups that utilize scare and terror tactics be stripped of funding - unanimously adopted...holy shit...this was awesome! About time we do a little human rights oversight on our funding to the Columbian military, Columbia is one of the riskiest countries to be a labor rights leader. Basically this resolution boils down to 'discontinue funding Columbian right-wing death squads'.
I was elected a delegate to the county and congressional district. We could only fill 20 of 24 seats however. My Ward is about 1600 people, and only 49 appeared at the caucus, so not a great turnout, but others have commented that is was better than years past and good for a mid-term election year.
from the mind of Pernox at 20:43
Tonight, 7pm, GO! It is your civic duty.
In this time of war, scandal, infringment on civil liberites, and corporate favoritism, it is time to remind the lawmakers that this is a gov't of the people, by the people, for the people. Who cares if it is a mid-term election? Local politics are equally, if not more, important that federal politics. If you only vote every 4 years and only vote for whomever will win, then shame on you, you are worse than those who never vote. Being an active member of our society means paying taxes AND being a member of the body politic, that is VOTE! In Minnesota, Caucuses are the first step in that process.
Go to your party's caucus. Get involved.
from the mind of Pernox at 14:52
Category: 4X (expand, explorer, expense?, exterminate) stratedgy
Year of Release: 2003
Suck Factor: 6/10 (1=suckiest suck that ever sucked, 10=no suckage)
Synopsis: Set in the Master of Orion franchise universe your goal is to win, either by military might, economic pwnership, or diplomatic conquest.
- variety of races
- macromanagement approach to empire and combat management
- high replayability
- loyal fan base that continues with mods and patches to fix the game at the game's forum
- game was only half-finished when it was released. See my next point.
- Infogrames tanked. They rushed this game out the door, in what I feel was an effort to attempt to get some cash-flow. They went under and Atari bought them, Atari then promptly dropped this game because it was not a money maker, because it was released too early, catch-22.
- last offical patch was v1.25, which fixed a LOT of problems, but quite a few remain. Serious ones like your bank account going from +alot to -alot suddenly. A lot of typos and weird text, which if you suspend belief adds to aliens trying to communicate in non-native tongues, until you meet someone else of your kind, they it is just sad. The fan community has released a couple of mods and patches that fix the game a lot and add to the experience.
- if you are a micromanagement freak, this is not for you, you guide the game via policies and dictates, your AI viceroys, generals and Admirals run the show, you direct them. You can override them, but they are not bad.
- the AI enemies seem to be able to out build, out colonize, and kick your ass, even on easy. Some of it just takes getting used to, which leads to my next minus
- steep learning curve, you will fail a lot at first, but give the game some time
I am a HUGE MoO fan. I bought this game the day it came out (actually had a pre-order). I played it for about 16 hours and shelved it, for 3 years, until recently when I had a need to play a good stratedgy game. I gave it a second go, patched to v1.25 and applied the fan supported 'Vanilla' patch, which fixes game play issues, but not the UI (I like the UI). It was like night and day. I really like the game now, much better, but issues do remain.
That said, I like this game better than any of the other 4X games that have come out in the last 3 years. GalCiv II was ok, but the dialogue sucks and I find some of the UI annoying. O.R.B. looked REALLY good, but the linear game play sucks, which was the same problem I had with Iron Hegemony (which was also ok, but not great, multi-player made it above average). MoO3 is open ended, you choose your path. I am not a big fan of Homeworld, it had good graphics and the UI was unique, but again, fairly linear, but the mods help with the replayability. I stay away from the Civilization franchise because I just don't find it that interesting. I played Civ I and Civ II, but I like the interstellar aspect of MoO and the fantasy aspect of Masters of Magic (MoM) which was another AWESOME 4X game.
So overall I give MoO3 (v1.25 + Vanilla patch) a A-/B+. But I am sure others will argue with me. I value things like storyline, replayability, uniqueness and freedom in games far more over flashy graphics and soundtrack (I turn the music off in almost every game I play), much like with how I like my movies and TV, characters and story over special affects. GET A FUCKING HINT Hollywood and you too games industry.
Unfortunately I see the death of PC gaming on the horizon. Best Buy's PC games department has shurnk to about a third of what it was even just last year, which the Xbox, playstation and PSP sections have tripled. Which is sad, a lot of console games are lame, poorly designed, short and severely lacking in the story department.
from the mind of Pernox at 14:26
Got up a lot earlier than usual.
Got into work and my workstation was at the root login prompt, /var was fucked totally, 20 minutes of fsck and I finally gave up, in the process of rebuilding now.
blogger is being flaky.
This server is currently experiencing a problem. An engineer has been notified and will investigate.
Status code: 1-500-11
It is now 08:08.
Update: corporate email is down as well and has been since 9pm, the *nix team does not take care of it (exchange servers) but it is still making our life hell since every app group here use email for monitoring. It is now 09:17.
Update: workstation fixed and most of my software restored, thankfully I use my laptop as the authoritative source and have multiple copies of various things in multiple locations and keep it updated frequently. Work email still dead, but it provides a strange tranquility. It is now 14:11.
Observation: some pop-ups still get through firefox's pop-up blocker, I wonder if a site can 'buffer overflow' the pop-up blocker so to speak until one gets through.
from the mind of Pernox at 08:03
So originally I thought the lyrics on the various internet sites were wrong. But when I saw this video (I think it is by a fan, not the band...) I changed my mind, this version does sound like the lyrics posted below.
This from http://www.lyricsdir.com/the-go-team-huddle-formation-lyrics.html
standing on the board
board is on the wheels
wheels are on the ground
spinning round and round
I could swear it is closer to this:
banging on the floor
so we can feel the beat
shut that off
so we can all sing
But again, I am only going off what I can discern from what I hear on the album. It is very difficult to tell because the song is a mix of various genres.
from the go-team message board thread titled 'Huddle formation sourced':
Go check 'Skateboard song' by Norma Tracy and the Cinderella Kids compiled on Girls in the Garage Vol. 8 for the chorus of Huddle Formation (original version).
So I did some digging, here are the lyrics to the 'Skateboard Song', Norma Tracy and the Cinderella Kids were a band in the 1960s and this song is frequently credited as the first skateboard related song. Unfortunately I was unable to un-earth original lyrics, this group was pretty obscure. I still do not think the lyrics I found are 100%, but I guess they are close.
from the mind of Pernox at 08:20
The U.S. Senate has seen fit to offer us a second helping of turd on a plate. Eat up, America!
Here's who voted against it:
Akaka (D-HI), Nay
Bingaman (D-NM), Nay
Byrd (D-WV), Nay
Feingold (D-WI), Nay
Leahy (D-VT), Nay
Levin (D-MI), Nay
Harkin (D-IA), Nay
Jeffords (I-VT), Nay
Murray (D-WA), Nay
Wyden (D-OR), Nay
Inouye (D-HI), Not Voting
I do not see a single Republican on that list. I do not see a hell of a lot more democrats who should know better.
I need a drink.
from the mind of AllThingsSpring at 16:35
Routers: The undersecretary of nerdful affairs for the U.N. today reported that lack of recent updates on the blog 'CubeZoo' was due to an increase in general suckage on various fronts. When Routers consulted a Scientiatan Dr. Grabius Phelterbottum, a brain-dude at the Rochester Education and Technology Advanced Research Diatribe he responded with 'Um'.
GeistX was not available for comment.
from the mind of Pernox at 11:17