Monday, January 30, 2006


10 things we learned last week

Babies born in the winter are more likely to grow into big, bright and successful adults. (

Couples who have a TV in the bedroom have sex half as often as those with no TV in the bedroom. (

Female guppies go through menopause. (

The average time that people with 35-hour-per-week jobs actually work is 40 hours. (This Magazine)

The more meetings an employee attends, the higher their level of fatigue. (The Guardian)

In-a-gadda-da-meeting: noun. Any meeting that could have been completed in half the time it actually took. (

Among the songs on Laura Bush's iPod is "Stairway to Heaven" — a bluegrass version by Dolly Parton. (Washington Times)

If you play "Stairway to Heaven" backwards, the lyrics sound like "Oh here's to my sweet Satan." If you play it sideways while jumping up and down at a 45-degree angle, you'll fall down and hurt yourself. (

Today marks the start of Handwriting Analysis, Creative Frugality, Nurse Anesthetists, and Solo-Preneuring Week. ( — John Sakamoto

Do yourself a favor and google the lyrics to 'Stairway to Heaven'. It's frightening to think what this woman thinks it means. The hypocricy is astounding. What a deep maligning of a classic rock anthem in sooooooooo many ways.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Can You Imagine an Army of Butterflies?

You would not send a butterfly off to war

For butterflies do not care to learn how to fight

They only have a short time to live--

Why spend that time dying?

If only people learned from butterflies.


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Just Say Yes

I am walking into a local grocery store and look over at a display on my way to the carts. If you've ever seen Big Top Pee Wee, you will understand what I mean when I say that I do a TRIPLE take. On this poster in front of the video section, is what, could that really be? It is--and wtf? It's Dawn (sister-in-law) and Phil (my brother)!!!!!!!

I wonder what they are doing exactly in the picture, and what it has to do with drugs, but knowing them (and the fact that Dawn is a full-time model) I have to assume my brother is teasing her about not smiling her big 'model' smile. In which case, Dawn was telling him that's how she gets to be the center of attention in the photo.

They live 150 miles away and only get to see them 2 or 3 times a year--they are also my favorite relatives so I just had to shoot them an email saying how good it was to see them at the grocery store the other day. If they start to think I'm hallucinating, I'll just have to tell them that it's because I've been to the Most Convenient Pharmacy in Town.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Morpheus Calling

How creepy would that be to see after some lo mein.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Three C's

I wonder what Mao Tse-Tung would think, looking at the Chinese $$ of today. How ironic, paradoxical, and contradictory. Communist China becoming this big, raging, capitalist machine. As China goes through an economic boom like the US experienced in the 1950's, their former communist leader is immortalized on the ultimate symbol of capitalism. Did I miss a history class? Are the two systems NOT polar opposites? I mean, I know that I was taught a lot of things in school that weren't true, but I'm pretty sure this one is right. The only thing they truly share in common is that they both eventually become corrupt. Sorry, but that's what politics and systems do. At least any system we've got going now.

I've spent a lot of time recently thinking about what kind of system might actually work relatively corrupt and bug-free. It starts with a whole new perspective on the way we see ourselves and the world. No biggie. That's just the jumping off point. But I'm not going to jump just yet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Heart of Gold

Neil Young movie directed by Jonathan Demme comes out February 10th. Trailer and synopsis here.

Rolling Stone just happens to have him gracing their cover this month, too. Good stuff. I am surprised by how much I can still enjoy a Rolling Stone magazine. Follow the links to an archived 'almost famous' interview by none other than Cameron Crowe.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Sunshine Superman

This picture is for Dennis and Howard. You are some cool critters.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Change the World

Heard about this via Lorianne's blog: Change the World. The Complimenting Commenter inspires a new family tradition. The idea is to put all of your change that you accumulate in your daily, mostly meaningless financial transactions into a jar and send to charities of your choice 4 times a year. Everyone in the family will get a turn to choose. I must admit, it is a bit of a challenge to get Bliss to give up his quarters. He'll let go of the other, less worthy coins, no problem. But that's okay. The pickle jar is already 1/4 full. Somebody is going to get some funny smelling money.

For my part, the funds will go to Union of Concerned Scientists. They have their hands in several important environmental issues--one being global warming. I really want to try to avoid having to see this kind of thing

on our roadways in the near future.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Pixelation Installation

I thought it might be fun to try to take a picture to visually represent some of my favorite poems. Not my poems, as I don't write poetry, but my photos, because I do pixelate. I took this shot this afternoon, as I thought of this poem.

On Turning Ten

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I'm coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light--
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.
You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.
But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.
This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.
It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.
Billy Collins

Sunday, January 08, 2006


So, I'm googling travel plans for the clan for a ski trip in March. I discover what must be the best place to go skiing--British Columbia. You can Heli-Ski there! Which means they don't mess with chairlifts. They take you up on virgin glaciers by helicopter and DROP you on the top. I wonder if you can get the James Bond Package where they will just drop a line out of the copter and hover so you can literally drop on top. We could so do this. I mean, so what if the kids haven't ever skiied. They're athletic. It may take them a few runs, but they might get it by like the third round, right?

I check out a website that offers this once-in-a-lifetime experience and find that you can take a google earth tour of the territory. Here's what it says:

You'll feel like you're actually here! Using high-resolution sattelite imagery and terrain data, Google Earth allows you to view our area in amazing detail. See exactly where the lodge is located and then enjoy a breathtaking flight over our mountain playground.

I already knew about Google Earth, of course, but never imagined this application. It WAS just like being there, and now, well, I don't have to go!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Yearly Review

The number of people killed by the Indian Ocean tsunami rose to 230,000. A study showed that 310,000 Europeans die from air pollution each year, and the U.N. predicted that 90 million Africans will have HIV by 2025. An international task force of scientists, politicians, and business leaders warned that the world has about 10 years before global warming becomes irreversible. The U.S. Congress officially ratified President George W. Bush's election victory after a two-hour debate over voting irregularities in Ohio. Terri Schiavo, Johnnie Cochran, Frank Perdue, Mitch Hedberg, Arthur Miller, Saul Bellow, and the pope died, as did the man who wrote the theme song to “Gidget.” An Australian tortoise named Harriet turned 175. General Motors was spending more for health care than for steel, and an increasing number of Americans were heating their homes with corn. El Salvadoran police arrested 21 people for operating a smuggling operation and seized 24 tons of contraband cheese. NASA announced that it wanted to return to the moon.

A study found that the worldwide percentage of land stricken by drought has doubled within the last 30 years. The Jordan River was filled with sewage, and the last of Gaza's Jewish settlers left their homes on armored buses. Terrorists in London set off bombs on four trains and a bus, killing 52 people; President Bush condemned attacks on innocent folks by those with evil in their hearts. A 13-year-old boy in Kalamazoo accidentally burned down the family meth lab. New Orleans flooded after levees broke in the wake of Hurricane Katrina; many evacuees were not allowed to take their pets with them. “Snowball!” cried a little boy after police took away his dog. “Snowball!” At least 42,000 people died in an earthquake in Pakistan. It was announced that Cookie Monster would cut back on cookies. Authorities in Malaysia arrested 58 people who worship a giant teapot. Poor people rioted in France.

In North Carolina Kenneth Boyd became the 1,000th prisoner executed since the United States reintroduced the death penalty in 1976. A 1,600-inmate faith-based prison opened in Crawfordville, Florida. Police began random bag checks of subway passengers in New York City. It was revealed that the CIA had set up a secret system of prisons, called “black sites,” around the world; it was also revealed that the National Security Agency was spying on Americans without first obtaining warrants. Journalist Judith Miller was released from jail and said she wanted to hug her dog. U.S. Congressman Tom DeLay was arrested; U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby was indicted. The Pentagon admitted to using white phosphorus during the 2004 attack on Fallujah, Iraq, and allocated $127 billion to build a robot army.

The total number of American soldiers killed in the Iraq war rose to 2,174, while the total number of Iraqi civilians killed rose to 27,636. “We are all waiting for death,” said an Iraqi soldier, “like the moon waiting for sunset.” The U.S. Defense Department, in violation of the federal Privacy Act, was building a database of 30 million 16- to 25-year-olds. The Department of Homeland Security announced that it had wasted a great deal of money and needed much more. Starbucks came to Guantanamo Bay. Scientists began work on a complete, molecule-level computer simulation of the human brain. The project will take at least ten years.