Thursday, May 31, 2007

Casting call for White House documentary

OK, so I'm not the biggest personal fan of Woody Allen. Had the whole adopted daughter turned spouse thing occurred with yours truly, there would have been court cases, Homeland Security investigations and the Moral Police aka Christian Coalition backed by Dubya's stumbling rhetoric condemning me for my debase nature.

That being said, I think that if there was ever a comedic take on what a documentary of Dubya's life might be, there should be a scene reminiscent of Allen's "Crimes and Misdemeanors". Never saw it? Well, this is the scene. Let your imagination run loose and replace Alan Alda character's take on his brilliant sense of humor with Dubya's "War on Terror" blathering.

Or you can just follow the "news" about Paris' DUI or Lindsey's bout with grab-assin' and partying, and not pay any attention to the fact that Exxon is consistently making RECORD quarterly earnings during a time when prices at the pumps are the highest they've been since...ever...and I remember the oil embargo of the 70s when my pops and I would have to wait in line to buy gas at the station, assuming the green flag was up...or you and I can start becoming more conscious about the issues impacting our town, state, nation, and world.

Trust me, I support our troops and our country. I just don't support their Commander-in-Chief. The 1 to 10-year-olds of today will be paying for our actions in the Middle East, and I'm betting that most of them don't have robust holdings in energy or defense shares. If we want to focus on a legacy for our nation's children, then let's not burden them with the aftermath resulting from the stagnant, fetid mindset of a hawkish minority who cling to a dusty model with their bloodless hands, crimped in hate, fear, and intolerance.

The soldiers in-country are fighting to win hearts and minds, but the current administration's directive that sent them there isn't focused on liberation of oppressed people, rather it's the appropriation of a nascent petroleum resource and the desire to keep a sustained American presence in a region where untapped oil fields will fatten the coffers of majority shareholders...and keep GM afloat. Don't get me wrong, I've got a 401k just like anyone else fortunate enough to have such an opportunity, but for me there's a disconnect between a 5 year vesting period and Exxon's $39.5 billion dollars in profits while worker bees in blue and white collar shirts pay upwards of $3.50 for a tank of gas. If you have a Hummer, I hope you love that gas sucking turd more than your mortgage or monthly rent.

We're a global community. The sooner America leverages its position in this new arena, the sooner we can reestablish ourselves as innovators and healers: real power brokers.

You want to make a short term impact? Here are my sophomoric thoughts...

1. Take public transportation (you're not a communist if you do)
2. Drive less (you don't need to floss every night on the strip to parley your spinner dubs)
3. Patronize local merchants who sell goods from nearby growers (there's less fuel consumed in shipping)
4. Read more (this includes books, magazines, and other offline source of information), as a smart populace is better positioned to have elected officials serve us, and not vice versa.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is that a Tesla in your pocket?

Condi recently rode in the Tesla, a 100% electric vehicle that outperforms most cars on the road today and boasts a decent driving range on a single charge (about 200 miles). I think the driver is telling her, "you like that vibrating seat? It's powered by the gleam of your smile, hot stuff. Whaddya say we lay into the lithium capacitors and get you some ungassed glow, girl?"

Right now it costs just below $100k, so it's a little pricey. Regardless, it goes to show petrol addicts like GM, Daimler-Chrysler, and Ford that the technology does exist to make cool cars that are solid performers.

Tesla isn't the first fully electric vehicle, you know. The EV1 was leased to a small group of folks. The car did amazingly well, but strangely enough all the cars were recalled and destroyed. General Motors developed the car and managed the leasing program. When pressed for a reason why they were cancelling the lease program and recalling the vehicles, they stated that they could not sell enough of the cars to make the venture profitable. A questionable fire safety issue was used to legitimize the recall.

uh...hello...Prius cars being more valuable after they drive off the dealership?

Check out the video of Rice touring with the Tesla.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Pyramids and a coffin where the creek hits the rise

I'm working on this idea for a story, but I haven't quite gotten it all worked out yet, and I know that NO ONE else has EVER thought about this, and I've taken all the right steps to copyright my IP on it, so I feel comfortable talking about it here.

I want to write a sci-fi/alternate reality/steampunk tale based on Bob Dylan's song "Isis". You heard it here first. Anyone else in Hollywood tries to option it, I've already gelled the idea here. If you hear about it, you let me know, so I can go pull someone's lungs out and feed it to them by the jagged spoonful. I know about copyright. I saw the movie.

I'm not quite sure where I want to take it, and why he leaves his wife in the first place, but the basic journey about disconnect and frustration upon the expanse of a frontier of some sort, a serendipitous connection with someone motivated with the purpose to be remembered under false pretenses, and an eventual denouement and reunion borne out from the experience on the road is somehow very compelling to me. I think couching it in some kind of alternate reality landscape would make it a spicy meatball.

It goes without saying that as with most songs and art in general there's a great deal of interpretation left to the audience, so anyone familiar with the piece might not see it, but I keep getting this sense of a tale wanting to be told.

It might not be the next Michael Bay flick (God I hope not), but I just might have to write several drafts just to get this thing out of my head. It's pervasive and nagging, but yet I feel as though should I move it from my sparkling synapses and onto an e-sheet, it would be a good thing. It's fat like child in my head.

New investment opportunities: prisons

I thought it might be cool to invest in shares of or Google per the news on their partnership in order to maintain a competitive edge on Microsoft, but after hearing about the new prison spending bill, I'm thinking that I should really put my money towards the exploding market of penal management.

Under a new state law, California will spend $7.4 billion to build 40,000 new prison beds, and that is over and above the current annual operating budget of more than $10 billion. Interest payments alone on the billions of dollars of bonds that will be sold to finance the new construction will amount to $330 million a year by 2011 -- all money that will not be available for higher education or other state priorities.
We always knew that the money wasn't in education or related wimpy social services that don't have any intrinsic value in our nation, other than providing people the means to position themselves in a more successful economic strata. It's actually in the management of prisoners.

Historically speaking, American prisons (and others in various "developed nations") have evolved. The main tenant in the evolution of the penal system (as a whole) centered around different core values, typically reflecting the social values of the time. As such, early prisons first stressed that penance and contemplation would do the trick, then rehabilitation of criminal habits was thought to be key in eventually reforming a person and empowering them to re-engage with society, however, that was tossed out and our focus has moved onto how to best manage the system from a fiscal perspective.

Of course, I'm simplifying this tremendously, but that's it in a nutshell: we learned we couldn't' change a criminal and so we decided that we might as well profit off it. Jeepers, that sounds dismal, right? Nah, not if your daddy gets the contract to serve mass quantities of imitation gruel to a bunch of 3-strike loafers who sold drugs.

While I'm sure you could argue that these people deserve to be incarcerated, there's a big concern for me when the state budget money gets siphoned off from the higher ed budget.

According to the May revisions of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's budget, the state will spend $10 billion on prisons in fiscal 2007-08, a 9 percent increase from last year.

Higher education spending will come to $12 billion, a nearly 6 percent increase. Moving forward, the legislative analyst says, spending on higher education probably will grow around 5 percent a year, while prisons spending will grow by at least 9 percent annually.
It kinda...doesn't... not really at all... paint a good picture about our priorities, as a state and as a part of our nation.

One could argue that if there were more opportunities for people to engage as valued members in a society that there would be less of a desire or fewer reasons to support resorting to criminal behavior. As it stands now, it would seem that the privatization of the penal system, and the money that goes to maintain it, is more important than examining the causes about why people commit criminal acts so that we can directly address those problems instead of managing the aftermath. It would make more sense to stop the bomb from detonating, as opposed to waiting to do something after it's gone off. I don't know. Maybe I'm just talking crazy here.

(click to enlarge)

I'm of the thought that most people are born good and learn to become criminals, and that learning should be taking place in schools and universities, and not in an overcrowded prison where dysfunctional behavior is neither modified nor alleviated, only tolerated and carefully managed. Chopping earmarked money for public higher educational funding is risky. It makes our social fabric that much weaker, and serves to widen the chasm between the poor and affluent. Sure there'll still be federal loans available to students, but with the cost of college increasing each year, do we really need to pass the cost of a bloated prison system onto students, with whom we're charging to lead the nation upon graduation?

Walt Disney to support open source video without DRM

OK not really, but this video is just perfect considering the amount of legal restraints surrounding the use of their IP.

Someone produced this video, which attempts to explain the basis of copyright law using scenes and associated dialog edited together from a variety of Disney movies.

Now taking bets on when Disney takes legal action on this bad boy.

Come to think of it...Disney reminds me of a certain 'religion' that is almost if not just as litigious...hmmm...

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Dead Zone 2: Romney's Finger on the Button

McCain's bit is relatively middle-of-the-road, but Catcher Mitt's blathering about Guantanomo Bay prison "doubling", is downright evil. There's not doubt that if this guy won the Presidency, he'd don garb similar to Darth Vader, and he'd start laying a cruel pimp hand on the populace.

Mitt Romney. Wow. He reminds me of a certain Stephen King character in a certain book about a certain man who starts a certain war if elected President.

And apparently, the war effort has become so strained in Iraq that the White House has decided to force military reenactment participants to enlist for combat duty overseas...coming to you from the brilliant minds at

In The Know: Our Troops In Iraq

Thank you for leaving Jerry

OK, so this is the last bit on ol' Jerry Falwell. I keep seeing these ridiculous tributes to the man. He was a hateful tool who some might say did to Christianity to what Dubya is doing to America. Let's just take a closer look at Jerry's "loving", "constructive", and "insightful" comments:

"AIDS is not just God's punishment for homosexuals; it is God's punishment for the society that tolerates homosexuals."

"The abortionists have got to bear some burden for [the attacks of Sept. 11] because God will not be mocked. And when we destroy 40 million little innocent babies, we make God mad. I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People for the American Way -- all of them who have tried to secularize America -- I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"

"If you're not a born-again Christian, you're a failure as a human being."

"Christians, like slaves and soldiers, ask no questions."

"I listen to feminists and all these radical gals -- most of them are failures. They've blown it. Some of them have been married, but they married some Casper Milquetoast who asked permission to go to the bathroom. These women just need a man in the house. That's all they need. Most of the feminists need a man to tell them what time of day it is and to lead them home. And they blew it and they're mad at all men. Feminists hate men. They're sexist. They hate men -- that's their problem."

"When you have a godly husband, a godly wife, children who respect their parents and who are loved by their parents, who provide for those children their physical and spiritual and material needs, lovingly, you have the ideal unit."

"The ACLU is to Christians what the American Nazi party is to Jews."

"I am saying pornography hurts anyone who reads it -- garbage in, garbage out."

"I am such a strong admirer and supporter of George W. Bush that if he suggested eliminating the income tax or doubling it, I would vote yes on first blush."

"I believe that global warming is a myth. And so, therefore, I have no conscience problems at all and I'm going to buy a Suburban next time."

"It is God's planet -- and he's taking care of it. And I don't believe that anything we do will raise or lower the temperature one point."

"I truly cannot imagine men with men, women with women, doing what they were not physically created to do, without abnormal stress and misbehavior."

"It appears that America's anti-Biblical feminist movement is at last dying, thank God, and is possibly being replaced by a Christ-centered men's movement which may become the foundation for a desperately needed national spiritual awakening."

"There's been a concerted effort to steal Christmas."

"I hope I live to see the day when, as in the early days of our country, we won't have any public schools. The churches will have taken them over again and Christians will be running them. What a happy day that will be!"

"The First Amendment is not without limits."

"Someone must not be afraid to say, 'moral perversion is wrong.' If we do not act now, homosexuals will 'own' America! If you and I do not speak up now, this homosexual steamroller will literally crush all decent men, women, and children who get in its way ... and our nation will pay a terrible price!"

"If he's going to be the counterfeit of Christ, [the Antichrist] has to be Jewish. The only thing we know is he must be male and Jewish."

"The argument that making contraceptives available to young people would prevent teen pregnancies is ridiculous. That's like offering a cookbook as a cure to people who are trying to lose weight."

"The whole global warming thing is created to destroy America's free enterprise system and our economic stability."

"You'll be riding along in an automobile. You'll be the driver perhaps. You're a Christian. There'll be several people in the automobile with you, maybe someone who is not a Christian. When the trumpet sounds you and the other born-again believers in that automobile will be instantly caught away -- you will disappear, leaving behind only your clothes and physical things that cannot inherit eternal life. That unsaved person or persons in the automobile will suddenly be startled to find the car suddenly somewhere crashes. ... Other cars on the highway driven by believers will suddenly be out of control and stark pandemonium will occur on ... every highway in the world where Christians are caught away from the drivers wheel." (from Falwell's pamphlet "Nuclear War and the Second Coming of Christ")

"God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve."

"You know when I see somebody burning the flag, I'm a Baptist preacher I'm not a Mennonite, I feel it's my obligation to whip him. In the name of the Lord, of course. I feel it's my obligation to whip him, and if I can't do it then I look up some of my athletes to help me. But, as long as at 72 I can handle most of the jobs I do it myself, and I don't think it's un-spiritual. When I, when I, when I hear somebody talking about our military and ridiculing and saying terrible things about our President, I'm thinking you know just a little bit of that and I believe the Lord would forgive me if I popped him."

"The Bible is the inerrant ... word of the living God. It is absolutely infallible, without error in all matters pertaining to faith and practice, as well as in areas such as geography, science, history, etcetera."

"The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the National Organization of Witches."

"I do not believe the homosexual community deserves minority status. One's misbehavior does not qualify him or her for minority status. Blacks, Hispanics, women, etc., are God-ordained minorities who do indeed deserve minority status. "

"God doesn't listen to Jews."

"Tinky Winky is gay."

Wow. Thank you for leaving Jerry. I'm sure Satan himself came up to retrieve your pitted, scarred, and loveless soul all for himself.

----sourced quotes can be found on

Thursday, May 17, 2007

What the war in Iraq costs us each second

How much money are we dumping in the Iraq War...conflict...civil support insertion...what the hell is it really anyway? Anywho, I'm sure you might hear all kinds of things about spending bills, and how Dubya vetoes them saying that he's not going to enforce an artificial timeline, but when it comes down to it, do you know how much it's costing us as a nation or you as a member of your city?

Well, the folks at the National Priorities Project have put together something that helps you visualize how much the war costs, and at what rate the money is being spent. You can also see the national cost ticker in the upper right hand of this blog. If you visit this site, which is part of the NPP, you can dynamically see how the cost affects your state, and your closest city. You also have the option of seeing how the money that we're spending on the conflict could have been used to resolve huge national concerns like children's health, public education, college scholarships, and public housing. There's also some features that allow you to calculate how war costs trade-offs directly impact your congressional district. Think the war is far away?'s being fought out of your back pocket right now...that second of time involved the cost of about $1,667 of national taxpayer money that was just thrown on the pyre.

Even if you're a die-hard neo-con you're going to wince at the money we're wasting. That is unless you have holdings in an industry that supports military efforts in Iraq.

If the money doesn't bother you, then think about what Mark said in his recent piece, "Oh Right, We're Still At War":

Me, I like to imagine the babies. I like to imagine all the children born back in 2003 (or 2001, if you count the equally failed Afghan campaign), the Year of Brutal Idiocy, the Year It All Went Wrong, the Year America Jumped the Shark.

All these children born at the war's beginning are well over 4 years old now. They are walking, talking, speaking in complete sentences with more complexity and coherence than the president himself. And for their entire lives, America has been at war. They have never known a day where we have been at peace, where we haven't lived under this bitter cloud of rampant incompetence, violence, a deep sadness, a sense that something has gone very, very wrong with the American idea, and no one really has any clue how to fix it. How will they be affected? What sort of perception of a broken, lost America will they have drilled into their baffled little bones?

Which leaves us right here, in this murky no-man's-land of vague dis-ease, this foul, anesthetized place where our brutal-war-that-isn't-really-a-war has become the norm, a time when it feels like we as a country should be getting stronger and should be leading the world in everything from peacekeeping to environmentalism to medicine to technology, and yet we have this giant, bloodstained monkey on our backs, violent and ugly and still shockingly strong, and he is laughing, cackling at our feeble attempts to shake ourselves free, even as he eats at our soul.
Makes me think of what was going on in Afghanistan when I was a kid back in the 80s. Doesn't seem like much has changed. I think it's time to start focusing on rebuilding alliances, acknowledging mistakes, and moving forward. So far it seems like we've been in a circling pattern waiting exit plan that takes us through Iran?

Can we stop the trajectory in which we're currently, seemingly locked? 2008 baby. Let your voice and vote do the talking.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Hillary brings out the big guns

The Sax-man himself: Bill Clinton.

He helped pave the way for Obama, as everyone knows Bill was the first black President. OK, all levity aside this is a first for Hillary, as she's historically tried to distance herself from her husband. Perhaps the time is ripe! Pick the fruit Hillary, and savor its glorious juice!

After watching this video, I feel something that I haven't felt in a long time: pride in an American President. Damn Bill could articulate. I don't feel like I'm watching an episode of COPS when I hear Dubya butcher the English language, as he blunders through all attempt public speaking.

2008 is going to be glorious year.

The big stem cell in the sky

Let's recap a life (points summarized from an AP article):
  • His father and his grandfather were militant atheists, he wrote in his autobiography. He said his father made a fortune off his businesses — including bootlegging during Prohibition. [cool!]
  • As a student, he was a star athlete and a prankster who was barred from giving his high school valedictorian's speech after he was caught using counterfeit lunch tickets his senior year. [shocking behavior! what a cad!]
  • He ran with a gang of juvenile delinquents before becoming a born-again Christian at age 19. [you little rapscallion!]
  • He turned down an offer to play professional baseball and transferred from Lynchburg College to Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Mo.
  • The fundamentalist church he started in an abandoned bottling plant in 1956 grew into a religious empire that included the 22,000-member Thomas Road Baptist Church, the "Old Time Gospel Hour" carried on television stations around the country and 7,700-student Liberty University, which began as Lynchburg Baptist College in 1971.
  • He had once opposed mixing preaching with politics, but he changed his view and in 1979, founded the Moral Majority. The political lobbying organization grew to 6.5 million members and raised $69 million as it supported conservative politicians and campaigned against abortion, homosexuality, pornography and bans on school prayer. [good for you - making Momma proud!]
  • In 1983, U.S. News & World Report named him one of 25 most influential people in America. [wow! America must be scary!]
  • In 1984, he sued Hustler magazine for $45 million, charging that he was libeled by an ad parody depicting him as an incestuous drunkard. A federal jury found the fake ad did not libel him, but awarded him $200,000 for emotional distress. That verdict was overturned, however, in a landmark 1988 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that even pornographic spoofs about a public figure enjoy First Amendment protection. [damn liberal court system!]
  • In 1987, he took over the PTL (Praise the Lord) ministry in South Carolina after Jim Bakker's troubles. he slid fully clothed down a theme park water slide after donors met his fund-raising goal to help rescue the rival ministry. He gave it up seven months later after learning the depth of PTL's financial problems. Largely because of the Bakker and Jimmy Swaggart scandals, donations to his ministry dropped from $135 million in 1986 to less than $100 million the following year. Hundreds of workers were laid off and viewers of his television show dwindled. [awww...poor Bakker and Swaggert gettin' caught swindlin' all them poor folks...I'll take over your racket!]
  • He quit the Moral Majority in 1987, saying he was tired of being "a lightning rod" and wanted to devote his time to his ministry and Liberty University. But he remained outspoken and continued to draw criticism for his remarks. ['cause he couldn't shut up...even when he tried, it just made it worse!]
  • In 1999, he told an evangelical conference that the Antichrist was a male Jew who was probably already alive. He later apologized for the remark but not for holding the belief. [see above]
  • A month later, his National Liberty Journal warned parents that Tinky Winky, a purple, purse-toting character on television's "Teletubbies" show, was a gay role model and morally damaging to children. [what did I say]
  • Days after Sept. 11, 2001, he essentially blamed feminists, gays, lesbians and liberal groups for bringing on the terrorist attacks. He later apologized. [what? space aliens aren't fault?!]
Who is he? Well, if you didn't already peep the link above, you'd know he was Jerry Falwell. His actions speak to his...eccentricity? insanity? After looking at how he started to wrap up his role as moral commentator, I bet the world must've been a scary and unfamiliar place. It's a good thing that surgery and arterial stents are ethical, moral, and biblical, otherwise he might not have been around to see the ball drop in 2006. Thanks for the lessons, Jer. Now we know what NOT to do.

As a minor digression, it's interesting how the word "fundamental" was used to describe certain Christian groups like Falwell's Moral Majority. It basically inferred that they were a large group of voters who don't tolerate gays, non-white folks, people who don't think like members of a like my opinion. Now it's a word getting some negative press because of certain "fundamentalist" Islamic groups. And while many Islamic states have historically shared a hybrid church-state government, throw in the trend of American government getting to home base with our Puritanical roots, and we have a wonderful little board game of Risk all laid out for us. Thanks for helping making the world a more polarized place, Jer!

It's so sweet. These two factions wanting to destroy a global community and eliminate all non-believers...I'm sure it's just what Jesus and Mohammed had in mind.

Speaking of mind and coherent thought, I also wonder what Jerry and the Moral Majority would've done when had Reagan was in office and been grossly afflicted with Alzheimer's...would Ron and Nancy still find their support from Jerry's mob? For that matter, what did Jerry think about Dick Cheney's daughter, who happens to be a lesbian? Did that create a dilemma for him? Maybe he shorted out like so many AIs on Star Trek, where Capt. Kirk always "out-logicked" an alien supercomputer.

Speaking of supercomputers, I'm sure Kurt Vonnegut is staring down at from his celestial Tralfamadorian vessel and chuckling as ol' Jer is being stewed in order to make tallow for candles for the kids being served by the World Bank.

For more Jerry related material, check out the plethora of video material readily available on Youtube. I recommend the Pat Robertson-Jerry Falwell make out *parody* from Family Guy.

Baby, I'll totally hook you up with a tri-level rooftop garden penthouse downtown

What would you say if I was a stock broker, and had managed thousands of Fortune 500 portfolios, including companies represented in your 401k holdings? You'd want me to maintain a public perception of stability and integrity, right: an erect member of the community ever pointing truthward on the moral compass of the financial landscape, yes? Of course you would.

Now say that I had this squeeze on the side, and I wanted to make sure that she knew how deep my pockets is. I wanted this girl to feel this here game, you know wha'm sayin? Word. So... say I slide a couple thousand Berkshire Hathway shares my company owns right on into my lady's account, ya'll ain't gonna trip, right? It's all good, right? Don't hate the playa, hate the game, right?

Then let's say that someone got wind of this little fiduciary collusion, and made a big stink about it [Sheesh...haters]. Say people wanted to fire me for this little itty-bitty thing. Then suppose that my old boss, who just happens to crash at the White House, comes out and supports me in my time of need because he and I go waaaaayyyy back. We used to roll P-gon style back when I was in the DOD.

Would you trip? Would you think it unethical that I did this?

OK, what if instead of managing stocks I was the President of the World Bank and instead of sliding my lady shares of B-H, I hooked her up with a phat compensation package that broke bank rules and smacked of nepotism and was just generally irresponsible. Would you be concerned if I did this?

What if you had some bigshots from the current executive administration make comments like these:
'"What we've said is, yeah, he made mistakes," [White House spokesperson Tony] Snow said. "That pretty much is obvious. On the other hand, it's not a firing offense."'
'"It doesn't seem to be the kind of thing that you would want to see the dismissal of the World Bank president over," [Secretary of State Condi] Rice said. "I hope it will be resolved in a way that is true to what really happened there but also strengthens the bank, which is a really important institution," she added.'
Would it seem like an ironic slap in the face with a metal studded glove laced with salty lemon juice when you know that the World Bank exists to fight poverty on a global scale?

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that it's highly probable that I shouldn't remain in the capacity of President, as these actions could be construed as...evil? irresponsible? callous? selfish? a manifestation of a propensity for rolling big pimpin' style? Any one of which doesn't really mesh with the goals of the Bank, given that, y'know, there are like people starving and shit, and I'm like hooking up my girlfriend with stupid cash.

If you haven't guessed, I'm like TOTALLY Paul Wolfowitz.

Let me take it one step further, and say that it casts a further shade, characterized by twilight, upon an administration that continues to fail to offer any kind of accountability, which further amplifies the message to the American people and our global neighbors that this country's leadership lacks a moral core. Please mind that I'm referring to the current White House administration, and not the American people. I'm betting that Americans are hungry for some changes in policy and political attitudes. It's frustrating to know that our children will be paying decades for eight years of bad choices made by one President.

Monday, May 14, 2007

I don't know if I'll make use of it all, but I want it

AMD will be coming out with a new, completely redesigned multi-core processor , which will compete with Intel's dual multi-core processor model. It's going to be sick I tell you...sick!

AMD lost some of their momentum in the chip market because Intel came out with their design first, but AMD apparently wanted to re-engineer the processor in order to differentiate themselves from Intel's 2-chip model.

Put simply, there are actually 4 distinct cores in the AMD Agena (branded now as "Barcelona" for servers, and "Phenom" for desktops) 10h architecture. Intel's "quad-core" product is actually 2 dual-core processors, which basically exhibit the same performance of their earlier chips.

AMD's are redesigned from the ground up. According to an article on, each core's clock cycles operate independently in order to maximize instruction processing within each core. Previous AMD and Intel dual-core architecture had each core maxing out for all tasks, which could cause some systems to hang should some intensive calculations be required. From the looks of it, Barcelona and Phenom change all this, as the 10h architecture looks to optimize power usage, which should also help keep the temperature down. I'd imagine these systems are going to run a little hot.
Why do you care? Well if you just use your computer to rip music, burn CDs, send email, and update spreadsheets, probably nothing. You won't need to upgrade anytime soon.

For those that are drooling for DirectX 10 games like Crysis and Bioshock, this news coupled with the upcoming release of the nVidia 8800 Ultra Superclocked PCI-E video card should make your implants shudder and quiver with cybernetic ecstasy. Barcelona is supposed to be available this summer, with Phenom will following shortly after.

Haven't seen the Bioshock footage? Check some out...

IGN has an excellent collection of additional Bioshock media. I recommend the Developer Commentary. It's a bit long, but contains great highlights without spoiling anything.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Who knew that fire poi was such an 'it' thing?

Or is it really 'it' with some, and not with others? This is something to really consider for later, I think.

So, many years after high school I have the honor, privilege, and pleasure of keeping in touch with some excellent people I met many years ago. Just this past weekend, me and one of these friends shot out to NYC to hang out with 2 other friends.

It had been about 6 years since my last visit out there, which just so happened to be the weekend of Oct. 11, 2001. At that time, we hit up The Pizza Box, Joe's Pizza, Rocco's Pastry, the Met, the Guggenheim, saw "Rent", and saw the empty skyline from my friend's Empire State Building office and gazed out to where the 2 towers used to fill space. The remnants of the World Trade Center were still smoking, and windows downtown were all boarded up from the shrapnel and various destructive effluvium. American flags were everywhere, and New Yorkers were effectively moving ahead as New Yorkers do. Eff you, Taliban/Al Qaeda - you lose.
Fast forward to last weekend, and again we hit up the same restaurants, while also tooling around downtown and SoHo, walking from the Village up along the river into Midtown to the Carnegie Deli (obscene amounts of pastrami), scoring new Adidas at the flagship store, throwing the football around in Central Park (because the weather was amazing) and lounging at my buddies house on Allen. Enter fire poi.

So, one of my friends is in school getting his MFA in Dramatic Writing. His roommate is an ER doctor, who on off hours, hosts gatherings at the pad, where occasionally the big draw is fire poi. What's that? Well if you didn't click on the first link (and please take everything you read from Wikipedia with a grain of salt), does fire spinning sound more familiar? It's basically when someone spins these flammable devices using the ropes that are attached. It's best when you rock Fire Gauntlets, which is what I called the Renaissance Faire-warrior garb that the spinners wore. They either improve your control, protect your arm, or make you look like a thaumaturgic cheerleader...probably it's a combination of all three.

Of course, I cheered while a group of 20 or so watched the spinning. Everyone cheered. If you didn't you risked the spinner getting upset and spinning the fire chakras upside your head! You better cheer...fuhgeddabawtit. Excuse the HORRIBLE quality of video...the camera phone isn't exactly HD.

We also stopped by the New York Scientologists Central Office of Culty Goodness. Me and one of my buddies took a photo in front of it, and I know we were captured on the closed-circuit camera, so I know that my days are numbered. They know I know that they know, and we're now existing in a somewhat uneasy truce. I won't talk about the flying saucers, Xenu posters, and anti-psychiatric literature I saw through the window, and they don't threaten my family. Or worse still...John Travolta would crush me between his succulent hairy man-teats...ewwwww.

Needless to say, we had a blast. The city is amazing. Lots of big ballers, Ferraris, Maybocks, Lamborghinis, and Bentleys out there. The subway puts BART to shame. On the flight out, Joe Montana and Tracy Chapman were on board. The running joke for the weekend was a De La Soul lyric that we uttered at random, "De La Soul? / No Tracy Chapman". Alas, there were only non-celebrities on the return flight, and some suspect mystery farters that kept making the air a bad thing to bring into your body.

Thursday, May 3, 2007 on the vetoed spending bill does great work. I laud their rigor.

The Onion

Bush Rejects Iraq Funding Bill

On Tuesday, President Bush vetoed a congressional bill authorizing financing for the war in Iraq contingent on a timetable for troop withdrawal. What do people have to say? Read on for all your withdrawl needs!

Big angry men who love Obama

Last night we got to hang out with a couple I've known since high school. It was awesome seeing them, catching up, and hearing about what they're up to these days. He works for an organization that directs cadres of big angry men who break down doors and kill bad guys. At least that's what he calls it. I thought it sounded sublimely and descriptively non-committive which is just what we need in the hearty age of information and its impact on rhetoric.

Speaking of rhetoric, Barack Obama has smartly requested "'that copyright rules be waived so that video from Democratic presidential debates is publicly available "for free and without restriction.'"

Dude, this guy is awesome. He sent a letter to Howard Dean, our favorite exuberant Democratic National Committee Chairman, and the Republican National Committee Chairman Mel Martinez "asking them to ensure that debate video can 'be shared, re-used, and freely blogged about without the uploader of the video being deemed a lawbreaker.'"

In the letter, he got signatures from Craig Newmark, founder of Craigslist; Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia; former Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith; Markos Moulitsas, founder of the political blog, and Civic Action executive director Eli Pariser.

Either Obama himself is brilliant, or he's got some great campaigner expertise coming up with these ideas. His actions in these areas help define him as innovative, tolerant, and facilitative: all good qualities we'll need in a new President.

So, to all those wonderful Obama hopefuls, and big angry men who break down doors and kill bad guys, I want to devote this song to you and your loved ones. May it inspire you for the challenges to come.

It's like a line of dominoes

Oh man. This is just too good. So, my soon to be old job and me are essentially calling it quits, which is a good thing. I was basically asked to agree to a mutual dissolvement of employment. And I did. Kinda like Colin Powell turning in his letter of resignation, because he serves at the pleasure of the President. So I guess technically I'm not really being "terminated".

Whatever. I still feel like I escaped The Rock.
So get this. Oh man, this is just so good. First, I'm thinking that everyone in my group is just sailing merrily along and then someone who heads a major 2-year over-budgeted quagmired project leaves the flag I says to myself...then yesterday's email announces "staffing changes" and I find out that my officemate is leaving - in the same month! He's been miserable as well! HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAHAHA!!


It gets better! I'm talking to another group member, who, at this point lets the cat out of the bag (because when you're leaving it doesn't really matter what you say as long as you don't burn any bridges you need to maintain) and tells me that she's leaving. She mentioned that she didn't feel supported by her boss (my supervisor) and didn't like the way the group was managed. She wasn't alone in feeling that way. I'm thinking that someone may show up on Rate Your Boss.

4 people are leaving the group in the space of a month. Damn. I guess it wasn't just me. Others found their job to be not what was advertised, and didn't like the group going in a direction that wasn't expected or desired. I'm smiling so hard right now. I feel vindicated and liberated. This was the best thing that could've happened. I was feeling like Mugatu and thinking that I was taking crazy pills, but really there was a deep bone cancer-like sickness that permeated the group dynamic making people unhappy members of a dying enclave.
Get the ejection handle, Goose! EJECT! EJECT!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Light at the end of the tunnel

My current job is breaking up with me. I'm glad. It was making me insane. I'm talkin' ka-ray-zee insane. Like, "the prices are insane!" It was only a matter of time before I broke up with it, so I'm actually pleased to have a clear exit strategy [wink-wink, check out the iRack] for my current slave. You could probably tell from some of my posts. They are rich with venom.

If anyone ever tells me that the job that they're at is a bad fit, I will now have perfect clarity on the situation. I'm talkin' perfect like Alexander Overwijk draws a freehand circle.

The good thing about all this is that I know what I don't want to do, so I'm interviewing like crazy, and I'm focusing my efforts on finding something somewhere that makes my happiness happy.

I've got some amazing friends and colleagues who've turned me onto other opportunities, and I'm pursuing them like Mark Foley goes after an underage man-brad.

So who called me today out of the blue for a pre-screen? This was for a job I thought wouldn't amount to a callback given they get somewhere around 1,000 resumes for a single job. Google. How sweet is that? Not just because it was Google, but because after months of fitting a square peg into a round hole I was getting to feel pretty negative, and now that I'm fully injected into the employment vein it's nice to know that I at least warrant a pre-screen from the Fortune-rated Number 1 company in the U.S. at which to work.

We'll see what happens. Regardless of the outcome, at least I have Stuart Smalley's teachings to keep me going.As a postscript, during my initial plans for hari-kiri I found the Commencement Speech to the Stanford graduating Class of 2005, as delivered by Steve Jobs. It was a good read, and highlights how the bumps in the road of life shouldn't be seen so much obstacles, but as experiences that should be taken as new opportunities...not to get all Tony Roberts on you.