blivet – 2002/09/11

Honor them with peace, not war.

It has been a year since the tragedy of 11 September. Today we personally remember in whatever manner we deem fitting. Nationally, we will be flooded with messages from many corners telling us how we should feel and act. Today, my thoughts, compassions, and prayers go to all who lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, friends and relatives of every kind, co-workers, casual acquaintances, and complete strangers.

I don’t know what else to say except that I hope that we, individually and collectively, can begin to piece our lives and our world back together. Perhaps we will then begin to quit starting at shadows and whispers. Perhaps then we can rebuild our society of freedom, openness, and trust we have left behind.

This will doubtless include bringing more to answer for the murders of so many. This is right action. Many other things that are contemplated are not right action as they are motivated by personal, political, and, I fear, corporate gain. This is not right action.

When we have returned to our lives we can truly say we are honoring the innocents slain a year ago. Of course, this is my opinion. You may have a differing one. That is part of being free.

Except for what is above, blivet will have no postings today.

blivet – 2/5/2002

I have to go to bed…

More really good things on PBS tonight. On NOVA was a Secrets, Lies, and Atomic Spies which "chronicles the lives and covert activities of the so-called "atom spies" in the 1940s, including the big one that got away". Then came what turned out to be a rebroadcast, Bill Moyers Reports: Trading Democracy. "Bill Moyers takes an investigative look at the way corporate investors are using an obscure provision in the North American Free Trade Agreement to secretly challenge laws, regulations and jury verdicts before an international trade tribunal." The NOVA program was good, excellent in fact, but that is not unusual. The Moyers program just blew me away completely. It is truly sad that there is not a companion website for this program like often accompanies things broadcast on PBS. It’s beyond sad really, the provisions of NAFTA – Chapter 11 are devastating to the rights of citizens, municipalities, and it seems, nations, when corporations feel their profits are being lessened. Most especially where environmental law is concerned. Really disgusting and disturbing corporate behavior.

All Aboard… This heartens me greatly as several months ago I did not imagine that Doug could sound so upbeat about his workplace. Fantastic! I’m really happy for you Doug! [Erehwon Notebook] [ed. note: I added the link to Doc’s piece which was further up on Doug’s page]

"(…)Over the past few months, I and an incredible team of people have literally revolutionized a failing business through the application of the simple principle Doc outlines above. Technology enables it, but isn’t the heart of it. Our organization functions like a web. Decision-making is distributed, with the people best equipped to make decisions completely able to do so. Most importantly, we strive to make information as accessible and as transparent as we can. Knowledge isn’t the possession of senior management, to be distributed in small packets and kept compartmentalized. (…)"

Man, I have *got* to start going to those staff meetings! John (genehack) is at a new url, jumped the post-doc ship and donned the "That’s Doctor Root to you" mantle at the same place. He got a step in pay to be a sysadmin too I’ll bet. At least I hope so, unless Bio post-docs get paid a lot more than Archaeo post-doc. But he sounds happier. (Hi John!) Tangent: Does anything besides being a Grad TA pay less than an Archaeo post-doc? [corrected a typo 2/7]

Levi’s "Crazy Legs" Super Bowl XXVI ad
Thanks Rafé

"Here’s a USA Today article about Johnny Cervin, the dancer in the Levi’s "Crazy Legs" Super Bowl ad. The ad was filmed in Mexico City, and directed by Spike Jonze. All of Cervin’s moves were real, but they superimposed an image of his perfectly still upper body into the video. (Thanks, Tara.)"

blivet – 1/25/2002

Thanks for the kind words about Ian. Like any new parent, I never tire of looking at him or talking about him.

American Samizdat, a group effort from some familiar bloggers.

These are great thoughts from Craig. (Your Uncle Albert sounds like a great guy.)

"Be good to yourself and to your loved ones. Call up an old friend or relative that you haven’t seen in a long time. Tell them that you love them, before you miss your last chance."

Introducing: Matthias Xavier Kurt Roepcke. Hi little guy! [have browser, will travel]

blivet – 11/23/2001

Ken posted this amazing letter to the editor from today’s (23 Nov) edition of the Eugene Register-Guard.

Susan Kitchens of 2020Hindsight came by the blivet hacienda and got to meet Ian.

Susan Kitchens of 2020Hindsight stopped by and got to meet Ian. At one point it got rather recursive (Susan taking a picture of Hal taking a picture of Susan taking a picture…).

It was really good to see her again and hear about some of her projects. Of course Ian was sociable, as always.

The Doonesbury comic strip that has Rush upset. I had already cut it out, I’ll just find a better place to hang it. via wood s lot

Jonas is off to Thailand. I hope you have a great time and that things work out…

I don’t know if I had anything to do with it (it was Thanksgiving in the USA after all), but I really enjoyed reading what people were thankful for yesterday.

catching up a bit…

Have a look at these great interactive maps of Afghanistan at National Geographic.
via Charles at little green footballs who got it from Jon Swenson

This has been happening for several years ˜ today is Buy Nothing Day! via adbusters

Eliot (FMH), thank you for the linkage.

blivet – 8/25/2001

The National Writer’s Union has released their report on Pay Rates for Freelance Journalists. From my rather cursory investigations I knew the rates don’t come close to providing a living wage ˜ they are even less than being a consulting archaeologist! However, I was not prepared for "In real dollars, freelance rates have declined by more than 50 percent since the 1960s." Ack! pointer via MetaFilter

I’m glad you like The Importance of Philosophy to Engineering article, David. I’m still working my way through it as well.

A couple of quick pointers found along the way as I follow a tangent this morning…

Wild Earth – The Journal of Wildlands Recovery and Protection

Friends of Nevada Wilderness

blivet – 5/30/2001

Give Me a Hug: When Multinationals Want to Be Our Friend
by Naomi Klein at the Globe & Mail. via wood s lot. this brought me up short and captured my attention – I’ve used the same quote in the (vain) hope of achieving the same effect:

…it’s one of the ironies of our branded age that, as corporations become more remote by cutting lasting ties with us as their employees, they are increasingly sidling up to us as consumers, whispering sweet nothings in our ear about friendship and community. It’s not just Shoppers: Wal-Mart ads tell stories about clerks who, in a pinch, lend customers their own wedding gowns, and Saturn ads are populated by car dealers who offer counselling [sic –ed.] when customers lose their jobs. You see, according to the new marketing book, Values Added, modern marketers have to “make your brand a cause and your cause a brand.”(…)

Ever since large corporations such as Nike, Shell and Monsanto began facing increased scrutiny from civil society — mostly for putting short-term profits far ahead of environmental responsibility and job security — an industry has ballooned to help these companies respond. It seems clear, however, that many in the corporate world remain utterly convinced that all they have is a “messaging problem,” one that can be neatly solved by settling on the right, socially minded brand identity.(…)

Nothing will change until corporations realize that they don’t have a communications problem. They have a reality problem.

While you’re at it, don’t miss Toxic Culture Syndrome– by Kalle Lasn, also at the Globe & Mail.

garret news: “for those who have a lack of ‘danger’ in their lives, maybe this will suffice until things get straightened out.” His discussion group and image galleries are accessible, but no archives at the present time. By all means check out herodotus.

Thanks for the linkage Dori!

Friday marks a major career and personal milestone for a friend, Dave Rogers. I’ve been reading your writing for some time Dave, I wish you the best. Hey! My copy of Photoshop doesn’t have the George Clooney or liposuction filters either! What’s going on here?

Good Morning. I think it’s morning anyway. I’m running late – updates will follow uh…, later.

blivet – 4/11/2001

Wes has a new logo for Hack the Planet Prime! I like it

ockham’s razor, a new blog. heads up from wood s lot

The 25 top stories buried by the mainstream media in 2000 from Project Censored. “Some of the stories you missed: The bombing of the Chinese Embassy in the former Yugoslavia may not have been an accident. The United States could have stopped genocide in Rwanda. An independent study found that genetically modified foods cause serious health problems in rats. And multinational companies are fighting to privatize and commodify the world’s water supply.” link via Jeff

I’ve been a giant histamine reaction for the last five days and a bit off my feed. I love Spring even if its not very nice back. I hope the rest of you are feeling better. Speaking of you all out there, how’s your back doing Al?

Just a little preliminary page flip action – updates to come.


Cool. Ken ran down the e-text download (ftp) for Emma Goldman’s Anarchism and other essays from Project Gutenberg. see Saturday’s blivet for what continuity may exist.

Taking myself less seriously: “Bark bark, fart fart. And then we all die.” A great discussion over in the Userland dg. You’ll understand the quote if you visit. I had to laugh, if you’ve been following some of Dave’s stuff at Scripting News for a while the connection will probably come much faster. Lots of good insight into another path towards self-mastery, which I advocate strongly, regardless of the method. This particular one is especially good if you talk to yourself in a negative manner. All paths lead to the same place.

Now It Can Be Told … The denizens of the blivet hacienda have been on increasingly pointy and uncomfortable tenterhooks since around June concerning the increasingly tardy announcement of the awarding of a five year contract with a three-letter public agency. I’m pleased to report that the announcement was made at 9 am today and it will not be necessary to sell our shoes and other personal items on eBay as Audrey will remain gainfully employed. It’s really distressing to realize how little added value the global prestige and fame that having a weblog brings to the open market for editor memorabilia on auction sites. Now if we just get our stuff back.

Seemingly on cue with the promise of continued income, the Daihatsu Rocky refused to start this morning due to electrical problems. For some reason, a personal appeal for Rocky Rocky Race Truck to ignore the laws of physics went unanswered. Perhaps it was answered, because soon after that we began to hear a new sound. A different sound that I was unfamiliar with, except that I was certain it was the sound an expensive part makes when it needs to be replaced. Ten years and 130,000 miles later and it breaks down. Boy, talk about ‘not building them like they used to’. It seems after some inquiries that would be easier to find parts for an Edsel or a Studebaker Avanti than for this vehicle. Point of Information: this vehicle stopped being imported in 1993, two years after its introduction and parts availability is nearly nonexistent. The vehicle is fairly popular in OZ in its original right-hand drive incarnation as the Fiero (I think thats the model name). Or at least several personal websites from Australia say that its very popular. I know its true, I saw it on the web. This could be your chance to own a distinctive vehicle at a bargain price. No warranty expressed or implied. Purchaser should be aware that once the vehicle crosses the property line phone calls will no longer be returned and mail will be returned marked ‘refused’. Nothing personal you understand.
Later: For those following along on with their blivet scorecards and decoder rings, this is the ‘other’ vehicle. The mini-van Audrey had some problems with in Colorado is the ‘good’ one.

In the two paragraphs above please note the editor’s utter inability to convey ‘tongue in cheek’ in ascii with the disrupting insertion of tags. Later: garret has a suggestion

garret wonders if he is insane, with Behind the Curtain in the pipe on top of everything else. I laughed out loud when I read that. I thought the same thing last night as I was waiting for sleep to come. The sage Zevon was asked to address a situation like this once and did reply: I’ll sleep when I’m dead!

I’m late to this, but I’m glad for you three Martin. I’m sure it’s good to have Sandra and Raphael Nicolaj home. (Raphael Nicolaj is their almost new-born son). Sorry to hear about your computer though, I bet your son is much more interesting …

Version 6.0 of BBEdit˙ from Bare Bones Software is out. I just got through ordering my upgrade.

Good Afternoon. It’s a ‘work on the thesis Monday’ and I’m just getting back to the house about 2:45 in the afternoon. Let’s see what’s out there …

Thank you again Userland! I was getting the

Sorry! There was an error: Can’t find a sub-table named “D:\Guest Databases\www\hostedManilaWebsites2.root”.

error here and was unable to get to blivet earlier this morning, but it has been fixed. (open question …) Am I doing (or not doing) something to cause this error?
Later: I was just rereading the page prior to going to bed and realized that a very literal reading of what I wrote immediately above could sound like I was being snotty to the good folks at Userland because I was getting the error I mentioned. Nothing could be farther from the truth, I really appreciate everything that Dave, Brent, Jake, Jeff, André and I’m sure many others I’m not aware of do to keep things working. I’ve gotten very used to things not being fixed at work, school, and with our ISP until a lot of complaining is done. Not so here, something doesn’t work and when I come back later its fixed. They pay attention to things like that here and I deeply appreciate it. Support people elsewhere have said to me more than once that “you get what you pay for.” Implying that as far as they’re concerned I should be glad for the crappy service I’m getting because I could be getting less. I don’t pay a blessed thing for what I get here at EditThisPage yet things work 99.9% of the time and they fix whats wrong and improve things. Thats more than I get where they have my credit card on file and gleefully charge me on a regular basis. I simply meant above ‘Thanks for fixing a problem that has occurred before’. Sorry for any misunderstanding.


Stopped by and found CDs on sale for US$8 so I looked. Oops. Passed up a whole slew of Dylan, but did bring home six: Sweetheart of the Rodeo (digital remix + tracks) – Byrds, GP and Grievous Angel – Gram Parsons (on 1 CD), Take Five (digital remix + tracks) – Dave Brubeck Quartet, and three of the first four Santana albums – Santana (digital remix + tracks), Abraxas (digital remix + tracks), and Caravanserai. Closing out the evening is Caravanserai.

[Jeff’s weblog] Jeff Cheney appreciates Kansas and the Plains, as any rational person should. He even has a paternal Aunt and Uncle who live in Overbrook. I grew up in Osage City, just southwest of there. The two schools were in the same league, we used to play Overbrook in basketball and competed in track. Not football though, they played 8-man as I recall. My granddad’s farm was outside of Olivet to the southeast which is even smaller (pop. 89), over there under whats now Pomona Lake. Thanks for bringing that up Jeff!

[The Onion] “Bus Passenger Stops Trying To Enjoy Kansas Scenery: “…Ed Costa finally aborted his attempt to enjoy the Kansas scenery Monday. “Fuck it,” said Costa…” via Sheila via Thomas A. Creedon’s Weblog Thats right, its a hideous place. You all should stay away, far, far away. Why do you think we ran I-70 down that East-West trending ridge anyway? The trouble is, places like Oregon can have bumper stickers like “Thanks for visiting, now go home” and people laugh because they understand the sentiment, at least at some level. If we did that in Kansas people would just shake their heads. Wait, people already shake their heads … Update: I should say that all webloggers are welcome in the Plains. Shelia,I liked what you said about it being easier to be there than it is to drive through! And yes, I think we may have a bit of special license to poke fun at that which is a part of us. I do live in a fairly large city (Las Vegas, NV), but 25 years in Kansas will never be subsumed by the big city. And people do know who you are in those small towns. “Now, you’d be Naomi’s daughter’s boy. Right?” Oh yeah! You can just see those connections spread out from that utterance… “That would be near the old Miller place, right?” Never mind that you were born in 1955 and the Miller place burned in ’42 and there’s an IGA grocery store there now. The Miller place is part of the social landscape and you learn it as part of your native navigation skills. You wouldn’t want someone to realize that your residency was less than three generations deep. Sometimes I miss the Plains so bad Σ wheat waving in the breeze, thunderstorms in July.

Was it the planetary biologist (Leit Keynes?) in Dune that said “Polish comes from the cities, wisdom from the desert”? When I was in High School I used to quote things like that to my friends when we would be complaining about living in a cultural wasteland (see the liner notes to the self-titled first album by the band Kansas). My friends would shake their heads then too.

Ravenous, squealing hordes of pancake eating daughters had Al in the kitchen. Hang in there buddy, you’re holding up a much more important end with that.

Dear telemarketers, what part of “No” don’t you understand?

Telemarketers have been calling, starting at 8. I guess I view them (as an industry) in the same light as UCE (Unsolicited Commercial Email – spam) – annoying, intrusive, and unwanted. I don’t recall consenting to this when I got a phone or an email account (like it would have made any difference). At least UCE doesn’t wake me up, mispronouncing my name. I was up writing until 3 so at 8 I was not a paragon of lucidity. The last person had obviously been schooled in the Don’t take NO for an answer! techniques, meeting my ‘objections’ with additional information. Sometimes he just continued to talk, completely ignoring what I had said. Finally, I just hung up on him with No no no no no as some sort of demented mantra. I have a lot of compassion for the people who do this. I imagine (or at least I want to) that few of them are following their bliss. I find it hard to imagine what real market research wold target me for. Airport˙ compatible zafus decorated with petroglyphs?

I’m glad you made it home OK in your sleep deprived state Al.

Late or very early page flip, depending on your point of view.

Tonight’s music was Nanci Griffith…

I’ve been up doing a draft of an essay for the ZBOHY web site. Its the first dharma talk (read ‘sermon’) I gave in 1998. I’ve very remiss in contributing to my Order’s web site. We are primarily an Internet based ministry after all. I was going to work on a redesign of a subsection of the web site I was assigned a while ago, but this essay just kind of came out.

Sleep is in order now. No aurora was visible in the Mojave <sigh>

Whats been happening while I was asleep?