Thursday, July 1, 2004
Last month this web site had 16,158 hits. That's not the record, but it's pretty close. Included in those hits were visitors from 41 countries other than the United States. Somehow that never ceases to amaze me.
Quote of the Day: "All truth passes through three stages. First it is ridiculed. Second it is violently opposed. Third it is accepted as being self-evident. " -- Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860)
July is not starting off well. I hope it improves quickly. Last night there was someone shot on the street I take to get off the hill, and at the top of this street near the cul-de-sac turnaround, there is what looks like a large blood stain, too. A more personal disaster kept me up most of the night, and any attempts to catch up on the lost sleep today were pretty much futile. Ann and I got new pillows a couple weeks ago at K-Mart. Mine's not working well. I need something softer, more malleable.
Is there really a Beatles lyric for every occasion, or does it just seem that way, "I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink, I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink. I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink. No, no, no." -- Lennon & McCartney. "I'm So Tired," The White Album, 1968.
Here's a picture I took a few weeks before my accident two years ago. In the two years prior to my accident, I'd shot 74 rolls of film. In the two years since, eleven.
"Hey! You lookin' at my butt?"
Friday, July 2, 2004
My son is having trouble with his hotmail accounts. They keep telling him he needs a parent's permission to use them. Funny, it never did that when he was 16, so now that he's 22 he needs parental supervision. Well, that's a matter of opinion, actually, but how would they know that? How in the world did they determine that he was underage? I don't get it. I called Microsoft and "they're working on it and will call me back." Riiiight.
Quote of the Day: "When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished; if the solution is not beautiful; I know it is wrong. " -- Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983)
Bucky is my hero. Unfortunately I believed him when he said, "Do what you love. The money will come." I'm still waiting, and he's dead.
It's nearly 90 today. Sunny. Hot. Muggy. I think I might move to Helsinki or Stockholm. . .
Saturday, July 3, 2004
Yesterday evening I got a last minute call to come run sound at The Empty Glass. Sean was off so he helped me. The band was Sol, a group from Huntington (about 50 miles west of here). They were pretty good. The singer was excellent. The rest of the band were competent, but not great players. Overall, it was a nice package with only a few mistakes. I nailed their sound halfway through the sound check, so the show just started with that and went from there non-stop (10:45 to 1:45). I actually got home right at two last night instead of the usual 3:30 or something till four.
It's hot here today, sunny, but with promises of thunderstorms later in the day. After getting to sleep around 2:30 last night, I was up before 8:30 this morning. I took Sean to the bank to cash his paycheck, then he said he'd treat everyone to breakfast. We rolled into MacDonald's right at 10:00. We got our order and came back to the house. When we got everything out of the bag, we found there was only one order of hash browns out of the four we should have had and that Sean's meal was missing altogether. We took it all back and I told them I wanted it all replaced, as it was now cold. It was ten minutes past the time they stop serving breakfast and they told me they couldn't make breakfast at all. I got pissed and told the manager what I thought of an organization so inflexible that they couldn't fix a mistake they'd made only half an hour before. I got loud and obnoxious and she threatened to call the police. I said, "Go ahead." I got my money back and Sean took us all to IHOP instead.
The business motto used to be: "The customer is always right." Now it seems like it's: "The customer is an expendable irritation as part of the cost of doing business." Bastards!
Quote of the Day: "I do not consider it an insult but rather a compliment to be called an agnostic. I do not pretend to know where many ignorant men are sure -- that is all that agnosticism means. " -- Clarence Darrow (Scopes trial, 1925)
I think I may go take a nap. I didn't get my rest last night. As far as I know I don't have to work tonight, but I think I'd better have a rest to be ready just in case.
Here's another of my 3 X 5 card series. Eventually, I'll get most or all of them in here.
Monday, July 5, 2004
I hope you had a safe and enjoyable fourth. Mine was mind-numbingly dull, as per plan. I did some reading, some housework, little else. Ann worked until six. Sean went to work at five. I dropped off and picked up. I explored the West Side hill a little more. Damn! If I had some money, there are some great neighborhoods hidden around here. Ann and I at at the Golden Corrall in Cross Lanes. We spent the evening watching "Finding Nemo" and a horror flick. Missed the fireworks entirely.
Quote of the Day: "The artist is nothing without the gift; but the gift is nothing without work. " -- Emile Zola (1840-1902)
I used to be certain of the gift, but now that the work is not coming, I'm a little more uncertain. I know the hands and the eyes can still do what the brain and heart require, but the impetus is lacking. I heard from a friend that another friend is hanging up his beret, quitting the art business after a long and fairly sucessful career. He's "going to stay up on the hill and plant flowers." Sad.
Speaking of flowers, in my travels yesterday, I went by the place of our previous residence. There was a van in the driveway and broken down cardboard boxes on the porch. Someone had taken the round flower bed down to the dirt. Gone were the yarrow, the lavender, the Russian sage, and whatever volunteers came up from last season's nasturtium and cosmos. Barren. The sunflowers were all cut down in the bed by the sidewalk, and the poor, sickly rhododendron was absent. The front garden was devoid of character. I miss that opportunity to grow things. There's not really any place here to plant much. The rosemary I transplanted is still alive, but it's not growing. The begonias in the pots seem to like it here. My jade plant, sitting on the table next to the dining room window is happy. I'm not.
Tuesday, July 6, 2004
In the "never ceases to amaze me" department, there were 1501 hits on this web site yesterday. In the five days this month there have been 4188. In the whole month of August last year there were only 7829, less than twice what we've seen in five days. The average per day is currently running at 837. If this trend continues (I doubt seriously that it will), the end of the month could see nearly 26,000 hits. Wouldn't that be something? I've noticed a lot of hits from educational institutions, particularly from Asia. Have I become a topic in some class called "How not to build a web site" or perhaps "Antiquated, pre-flash web building techniques?"
Quote of the Day: "The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule." -- H.L. Mencken
A lot of Bush/Cheny supporters have their degrees, their good jobs, their big houses and SUV's and absolutely no comprehension that not everyone in the country can have those things. Some people don't even want those things. What a lot of people not in the yuppie/neocon camp do want, however, is for positions other than managerial to sustain a respectable lifestyle. For years we have been clammoring for and working toward a society that values teachers as much as lawyers, skilled craftsmen and tradesmen as much as managers. We, the liberal fringe, desire a society wherein the least able of our brethern are able to support themselves in a dignified manner, instead of relying on the condescending charity of private organizations, since welfare as we knew it is pretty much gone, not that it was much better. Instead what we have is the lessening of a vast proportion of our citizens to the benefit of those people with degrees, good jobs (careers), big houses and SUV's. We are distancing ourselves from ourselves, and the top tier never tires of bragging about how good they have it or telling us what shits the rest of us are for not having it too ("After all, I did it, so you can too" -- riiiight).
See Susanna Rodell's editorial in today's Charleston Gazette for the impetus for that last paragraph.
Wednesday, July 7, 2004
I meant to mention it but I forgot: yesterday was my 24th wedding anniversary. We celebrated by going out for T-bones at Shoney's. Then we had dessert at Baskin-Robbins, then came home and mowed the lawn. We had beautiful little waitress at Shoney's, and I do mean little. When I stood up beside her, I had to be almost a foot taller, and I'm only 5-foot-8. And slim to the point of anorexia, but still with a slight curve or two. It seemed like everything she did was wrong. She'd lost her pen so she had to borrow one from Ann to write the bill. She brought me unsweetened tead instead of sweet tea. She forgot our steak knives. It went on. And finally when she brought Ann's go cup of coffee (which she added to the bill -- most exprienced waitresses would have comped it), I asked if she was having a bad day. She said, "Heavens no. This is the best day of my life! You should have seen me on my first day here." If that was the best day of her life, we need to get a film crew to follow that girl around.
Quote of the Day: " I can't go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then. " -- Lewis Carroll
I've been up since right after 8:00 and still I haven't gotten my shower or accomplished much. I did mend a couple of PDF files for my niece, but other than that, and collecting my morning SPAM (I should fry it and make some eggs and toast), I've done very little. I woke up with thoughts of painting in my mind, but no inspiration as to what to paint. I find I'm not comfortable at my drawing table anymore, nor am I satisfied to sit with a lap board. I have difficulty standing at an easel, and besides I have little room for one, especially if the work takes more than one session. Maybe I'll work it out.
My lawyer called yesterday. The insurance company made their initial offer. It was not acceptable. He's going to go ahead and file suit to make the two year deadline. Perhaps another, better offer, or mediation, or (worst case) a civil trial. If it goes to trial it could slog on for another two years. Bummer.
Thursday, July 8, 2004
I don't know what to think. I feel like the content of my web site is less interesting lately, yet I'm getting record numbers of hits. The past three days have seen over a thousand hits each. For the month so far I'm averaging 923, which, when multiplied by 31, comes out to 28,613. Man! That'd be something, to get than many hits in a single month. I doubt it will happen, and I'm sure there are sites which get a lot more hits per day than that, but mine is a humble blog site for the most part and is run by one person with limited knowledge, talent and resources, so I'm happy with the outcome.
Quote of the Day: " I'm not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb ... and I also know that I'm not blonde. " -- Dolly Parton
Sean took us out to eat at the Lone Star Steakhouse as a belated anniversary present. It was good. The chili could have used some help, though.
I think we're getting ready to move Day Janeiro's site to their own domain, day-janeiro.com, but that will be at least a week off. The domain is registered. All that needs to be done now is pay for the hosting and set it all up. Stay tuned. We were going to register dayjaneiro.com, but it's been snagged by a company speculating in domain names. They buy them up in the hope that someone wants them bad enough to pay a lot more than just the registration fee for them. I thought scalping was illegal.
Speaking of their site. Check it out. I did my first Flash™ animation for the home page. It's not fancy or stunning or anything, but it works. I used a little freebie program called Coffee Cup Firestarter to do it. It only has a very limited sub-set of the Flash capability, but it's neat and easy to use. The little ditty there was put together by my son. He's a real whiz with computer music.
Friday, July 9, 2004
Another night at the Empty Glass tonight. It looks like both a challenge and a good listening experience. The band is from Richmond, VA -- Modern Groove Syndicate. The Glass's web page describes them as "A cosmic mix of soul, jazz, funk, Latin, hip-hop and the kitchen sink, MGS uses keyboards, melodica, guitar, and plenty horns. This Richmond East Virginia band improvises and throws in every twist in the groove toolbox. Bring your butt and prepare to shake it!" [ In case you haven't figured it out, you can click on the band name and listen to what they sound like. ]
Quote of the Day: "Business is a service, not a bonanza," -- Henry Ford
Maybe Mcdonald's should pay attention to this axiom. In fact, perhaps a lot of business people should pay heed to his words. I suppose theMBAstards figure they can afford to piss a number of people off because the vast majority will take whatever they dish out. I hate to admit it but they're right. I just hope that changes soon. These companies built their businesses one customer at a time. Surely they're aware they can lose it the same way.
All the Burger Kings in town have shut down. The only Burger King nearby is in South Charleston. Actually there are two there, but that's an adjoining city. There has only been one McDonald's in the city center since the 60's. First it was at the corner of Capitol and Quarrier. When the Town Center Mall opened, they moved there to the food court. Now, their lease is up and they're not renewing. That leaves two in Kanawha City and the one at Patrick Street Plaza that I had the problems at last Saturday. It seems like everything in Charleston is being shut down and torn down. The Chi Chi's in Kanawha City closed several months ago (it never re-opened after the bad scallions episode), and now it's been razed. The Olive Garden at Town Center is closing, too. They're relocating to Southridge, about five miles away, out in Sprawl-World. A new Italian restaurant is coming in, but it's owned by the same people who own the two more upscale restaurants on street level in the mall. I probably won't be able to afford to eat there except maybe once a year, or even less.
I called McDonald's "customer satisfaction line" but I found that satisfaction was not there. They could offer me nothing beyond "I'm sorry." One customer at a time, Mickey D.
Saturday, July 10, 2004
I just attended a wet t-shirt contest at Taco Bell. It wasn't intended that way, but a bunch of girls from a local high school were having a car wash on the Taco Bell parking lot and we had a sudden downpour. They all streamed inside. Who says fast food can't be fun?
Quote of the Day: "Reality is the cage of those who lack imagination. " -- JBS Haldane, English Geneticist
The band at The Glass last night was pretty good -- not exactly what I expected, but good nonetheless. They had drums, bass, keyboards and saxophone. No vocals. No guitar. I had expected, from the web page description and from the sound clips I'd heard, more horns. More horns and a guitar would have made it fuller and more interesting, but it was just fine the way it was. All the guys were friendly, professional, and courteous. The drummer, Joel, was very good. So were Todd and Daniel, the bass and keyboard players respectively. JC, the sax player, was more than competent and the blend of all these talents made for a pleasant evening of mostly jazz, albeit à la Frank Zappa has a head-on collision with Deodado. If you get a chance to see them, do. And check out their web site -- Modern Groove Syndicate.I think everyone there had a good time, especially that young lady in the short, tight, slinky black dress. As I told her after the show, "You shouldn't dance like that. July's hot enough already."
The sudden storm while I was at Taco Bell raised the muggitivity level to some absurd number beginning with "9" I'm sure. It's time to turn on the A/C, little good that will do.
Still averaging above 900 hits a day. I'm kind of standing back, waiting for the sudden drop-off to 300 a day or less. It's like the big tease or something. It would be nice if there was a way to make some money off all these hits without inconveniencing the viewers with intrusive ads and the like. I refuse to put banners and ads on my page. I hate them on other pages and after a short experience with banners on my page, I think I'll leave it pristine and only advertise myself (and not very well, I might add).
Sunday, July 11, 2004
Well, Ann and I went to see Michael Moore's latest. I really didn't see much that was new to me, but I'm sure a lot of people did. Everyone in The United States should be required to see this movie. Then it wouldn't matter much if Kerry was so liberal he wouldn't fly on an airplane unless it had two left wings, or that Edwards only had a grasp of politics on a ward level. It'd be like Ashcroft losing to a dead man again. There is so much bad about the Bush administration and this film highlights it so well. We were hijacked, lied to, mislead, screw, blued and tattooed by this bunch of career criminals in the current administration. Why, I ask, is something not being done about them? Why, if congress could impeach Clinton over something as trivial as lying about a blow job, do they not impeach Bush and his whole raft of cohorts over all the lies, misconceptions, and illegal activities that are on film in this movie and elsewhere. Bush is clearly a liar, a thief, a spoiled brat with no concept of any good greater than what benefits him. He has to go. He has to go.
Quote of the Day: "Truth ultimately finds its way to people's eyes and ears and hearts." -- Donald Rumsfeld
Let's hope so Donny. Let's hope so. If it ever does, you'll be in jail or twisting in the wind along with Bush, Cheney, the neoCONS at defense and the rest of the trash in the administration who pretend to be human beings. I am so pissed right now, and so disheartened. I am disheartened because of all the people in this country who still support and even admire Bush and his cronies. How can people be so blind?
I saw a good bumpersticker yesterday: BUSH for Lawn Ornament.
Monday, July 12, 2004
Okay, all you fools who said, "It can't happen here," listen up! Newsweek has an article you should read. Click here to read.
Copyrights be damned. Here's the lead in: "American counterterrorism officials, citing what they call 'alarming' intelligence about a possible Qaeda strike inside the United States this fall, are reviewing a proposal that could allow for the postponement of the November presidential election in the event of such an attack, NEWSWEEK has learned."
We should all act now. We can't afford to wait until the election. We must somehow convince the U. S. Senate to bring articles of impeachment. I know there's little chance of it happening, but we have to give it our best shot. This bodes ill for our "democracy." I am distraught.
Quote of the Day: "The instinct of nearly all societies is to lock up anybody who is truly free. First society begins by trying to beat you up. If this fails they try to poison you. If this fails too the finish by loading honors on your head. " -- Jean Cocteau (1889-1963)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
I went back to my hometown today. Things have changed so much since I was growing up. The hot dogs at the pool room where I misspent my youth are still the best in the known universe, but it's a lunch counter with pool tables and no beer. Babies crawling around on the floor. It was dilapidated, dirty, bearing little resemblance to the place I learned to shoot pool. Change is sad in some respects.
Quote of the Day: "Hell is other people. " -- Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980)
Ann's at a two-day conference. I took her up to Flatwoods this morning. That's why I was up in that area and why I paid the visit to my hometown. Sean went with us after spending the night awake, so he crashed pretty much as soon as we got home. I've been puttering around all afternoon and early evening. I have no idea what to do.
It was so hot in the bedroom last night (not like that!) that I had trouble sleeping. It promises to be the same tonight. I hate hot weather. Yesterday on Mount Washington the high temperature was 56. That would be a nice low, even. Our low tonight is supposed to be around 70. That's not cool enough for proper sleep. I need one of those "Chillows" I saw on the news one night.
Thursday, July 15, 2004
I'm just pissed off at the world right now. No need to go into details. I'll just keep my mouth shut and fingers idle until such time as I get over it.
Quote of the Day: "In my end is my beginning." -- T. S. Eliot
The weather improved for today, but it's back to heat and humidity tomorrow after a nice night of temperatures in the mid-fifties tonight. I can live with that for a change. Have I mentioned how I love a cold pillow?
I feel like someone dipped me in bleach and dried me with a blow drier -- washed out, parched, brittle. Tired.
Friday, July 16, 2004
Two of our illustrious members of Congress, Alan Mollohan (yes, a distant cousin) and Nick Rahall have come out publicly against wind-turbine farms, like some that have begun popping up in the Potomac highland areas of the state. They take objection to them on two points. One, they kill migratory birds who blunder into them, and two, they ruin the ambient aesthetic of the surrounding countryside. Granted, the hills, ridges, and mountains in this state are stunning, but objecting to windmills? Why don't they take a stand against the wild proliferation of cell towers? You can't make a turn on any highway in the state anymore without seeing one or more of the things poking up through the trees. And if aesthetics is the concern, what about red pickup trucks?
Quote of the Day: "ART, n. This word has no definition. Its origin is related by the ingenious Father Gassalasca Jape as:
'One day a wag -- what would the wretch be at?
Shifted a letter of the cipher RAT,
And said it was a god's name! . . .'"
-- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
W said that Saddam was involved in 9/11. Well, he wasn't. W said he had WMD. Well, he didn't. W said he had ties to bin Laden. Well, he didn't. All this has been shown to be the case, so now W is saying Saddam could have made WMD if he'd wanted to and he doesn't like us. Well, Little Sir W, there are a lot of countries who either already have WMD or could have in short order and don't like us, most of them not liking us because of you. Why don't you attack Israel, North Korea, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, France, Sweden. . . I could go on, but let's just say every moderately developed nation on the planet. You, Mr. Bush are the most disingenuous, conniving, thieving, despicable, hateful, mean, dastardly coward on Earth, with the possible exceptions to this title being entirely within your closest circle of cohorts.
I really miss my garden. There's no place here to plant much of anything. I don't like to plant vegetables in the front near the street, and that's the only place they'd get enough sun, so vegetables are out. The soil is bad, mainly because of the porus strata directly beneath the topsoil causing water to drain away quickly and not be held in the soil. Then there's the problem of large trees with their extensive root systems sucking up what water and nutrients there are in the soil. We have some gorgeous begonias and a few other plants in pots, but really I miss my garden.
I noticed the other day, that the house we had to move from has a for sale sign in the yard. If you want to buy it for me, call Old Colony Real Estate, Betty Arters. I've seen so many houses up for sale for month, even years at a time around here. It's definitely a buyer's market, but still the prices keep escalating -- probably due to a conspiracy between the realtors and the appraisers. There's one house down the street that's been up for sale for probably six months. The asking price is right around $60,000. In the neighborhood it's in and the size of the house, that's probably $20,000 too much, but someone has decreed that it should sell for $60,000 and will probably remain on the market until such time as some fool thinks it's okay to part with that much money for that little house.
The features on this site just keep coming. I've installed a news feed on the home page. Since it is a realtime feed and the news is updated frequently, it may take a little time to load. I hope it's worth the delay. I may move this feature to the Information page at some point, but for now it will reside on the main page.
I don't guess I get to work this weekend. I sure could use the money, though. My graphics tablet has definitely bitten the big one. The one I want to replace it is around $150.00 -- maybe I should have waited to buy my easel.
Saturday, July 17, 2004
It's another rainy Saturday. Our neighbor across the street, Vince, tried to get his lawn mowed before the rain started. He almost made it. I should have got up earlier and tried to mow our grass. It's not too high yet, though.
Quote of the Day: ""Capital punishment is our society's recognition of the sanctity of human life." " -- Senator Orrin Hatch (R, Utah) Hmmmmm. . . (ed.)
Excellent editorial on the left hand editorial page of the Charleston Saturday Gazette-Mail today. It poses an interesting question, one that I've asked myself and others over and over. To wit:
"In the neck-and-neck 2004 election campaign, the main question, of course, is who will be the next U.S. president. But there’s a deeper, more troubling question: Why is the campaign neck and neck? Why do half of Americans want a shallow, smirking, self-righteous leader who started a needless war?
"Under George W. Bush, America has suffered terrible harm. On untrue allegations, he launched the Iraq war that is costing thousands of lives and $200 billion in taxpayer dollars. He demanded trillion-dollar tax giveaways to the affluent — while doing little for ordinary Americans, such as the 44 million working poor with no medical insurance. Former federal surpluses were replaced by ruinous deficits, sending the national debt past $7 trillion — almost $25,000 for every American man, woman and child.
"Why do half of Americans support this kind of leader?"
Now, isn't that a good question. Later in the editorial, something I've mentioned here many times is posed: "Some European writers are beginning to call America a 'pre-fascist society.'" For the rest of the editorial, click here.
Looking at the Saturday Gazette-Mail I must say it's a better laid-out site than the usual Gazette site. I never go to the Daily Mail site, since it's the reactionary paper in town, so I don't know whether they picked up the design from there or not. Typically conservative organizations tend to have better-looking sites, buildings, stationery, etc. -- probably because they have all the money, or the people doing the design work for them want to share in the money and work for a pittance in order to ingratiate themselves as a hedge against the future. Pitiful.
Now, my home page can be a portal for you. In addition to the news headlines at the bottom of the page, I've also included a dynamic directory from the same source. This, along with the Google and other searches on my Information page, and this site should now serve you well as a home page for your browser. I'm thinking about redesigning my main page more like a portal page. Any feedback on this notion? Click the "Comments" button.
The rain stopped somewhere around four o'clock this afternoon. We dropped Sean off at work and headed for Wal-Mart. On the way up, I had some fun messing with a guy in a white minivan suffering from road rage. I was supposed to get a free oil change from Wally-World, but they had no record of it, so I had to pay. I got to hold a Canon EOS Digital Rebel. I'd love to have one of those. After we dropped off the stuff from Walton's Mountain, we went to K-Mart for water and Pepsi. At K-Mart I had an interesting discussion with a fellow from out of state in a red tee-shirt about the viability and reasonableness of Ralph Nader's candidacy. He was collecting signatures to get his name on the ballot here. I thought only state residents could do that? I'll have to call the Secretary of State's office Monday and ask.
Sunday, July 18, 2004
I found a great editorial in the Baltimore Chronicle. It's called Eyes Wide Shut. There's a good ongoing discussion of this on the usenet newsgroup alt.conspiracy -- check it out if you have the time and inclination. The thread is called Op-ed: Eyes Wide Shut. I think we should all make time for such reading and spread the word as widely as possible.
It's an overcast day. Little activity around here. Days like this make me feel like going back to bed and sleeping or at least reading and not moving very much.
Quote of the Day: "Of all the tyrannies that affect mankind, tyranny in religion is the worst." -- Thomas Paine
I expect ol' Tom Paine would be under surveillance today as a subversive or even worse. How like our oppressors we have become. It's uncomfortable living in a pre-fascist state (I might even debate the pre- part) and being in a decided minority. Or am I? I think that perhaps a lot of people opposed the neocons, but didn't vote last election because they didn't take Bush seriously. I think perhaps this time, they will. The fellow trying to get signatures for Nader at K-Mart yesterday said that in 1996 we had 300,000 people vote in the Presidential election in this state; in 2000 it was only 120,000. Apathy? Perhaps to a degree. I think a lot of the Democrats in this state assumed it was a slam-dunk for Gore and didn't bother. See what assumptions can do? Get out the Vote! We have to defeat this fascist enclave now in power. We have to get Bush out of the White House and regain a majority in both houses of Congress. Congress then needs to press an investigation into the Bush administration and start impeachment proceedings against the majority members of the Supreme Court who put the bastard in office. We have been hijacked, people, and we must not let it stand!
Robert C. Byrd, our long-time illustrious Senator from the Great State of West Virginia has written a new book called, Losing America: Confronting a Reckless and Arrogant Presidency. There was a review/commentary in this morning's Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail about it. There was also a letter to the editor from a complete idiot lambasting the paper for running "liberal tripe." It was just a rehashing of the same ill-informed, unsubstantiated perverse speculative distorted thinking as promoted by Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Sean Hannity (among others).
You know, it's getting pretty bad when Pat Buchannan starts sounding like the voice of reason. . .
It looks like I've gone into the news business. Here's another tidbit for you, this one from Sir Elton John.
Okay, one more: This is an excerpt from a New York Times editorial by guest columnist Barbara Ehrenreich:
"Groupthink has become as American as apple pie and prisoner abuse; in fact, it's hard to find any thinking these days that doesn't qualify for the prefix 'group.' Our standardized-test-driven schools reward the right answer, not the unsettling question. Our corporate culture prides itself on individualism, but it's the 'team player' with the fixed smile who gets to be employee of the month. In our political culture, the most crushing rebuke is to call someone 'out of step with the American people.' Zip your lips,' is the universal message, and get with the program."
The whole article may be found on the New York Times Op Ed Page for July 15, 2004. NOTE: You will have to register if you are not already a Times member.
All these editorials and commentaries I've been shoving at you today are important and all resonate very strongly with what I've been saying, feeling, and thinking for a long time now. We need to break free from the herd and think for ourselves. It's convenient to have everything pre-packaged, but in the end it's very costly. Pre-packaged food costs us more money. Pre-packaged thought and opinion cost us our minds and our freedom. Don't give in! Resist!
Monday, July 19, 2004
I'm thinking about taking the newsfeed off my front page. From looking at the news items and reading them, the slant of the reporting seems decidedly right-wingish. I'll think about it. I used to have a newsfeed from Excite that was pretty neutral, but they stopped offering it. Anyone know of another newsfeed available for web sites?
Quote of the Day: "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." -- George W. Bush, April 9, 1999
Another sunny day with little to do and less motivation to do. At least the heat and humidity are reasonable today. Tomorrow I have to go to Weston (about two hours from here). I need to remember to take my camera so maybe I can get some pictures of the old State Mental Asylum there. It's a magnificent old stone building, massive and imposing.
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Pissed at the world again. Some young punk in a pickup of such size as to intimate the driver has a very small penis and is using his automotive choice to compensate cut in front of me at a stop light as soon as the light turned. I should have rammed him. Probably a fireman.
I keep getting all these SPAM e-mails from True, a matchmaking service. Well, I don't happen to need this service. I've sent e-mails telling them to unsubscribe me, but I keep getting them. I also get them through my catch-all facility for several e-mail addresses that don't exist. They made the mistake of including a phone number where I could get to it. I entreat you, when you get a SPAM that has a phone number, call it and let them know in unequivocal terms that they are the absolute scum of the Earth.
Quote of the Day: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. " -- Thomas Watson (1874-1956); Chairman of IBM; 1943
I finally got around to getting the address on my driver's license, vehicle registration, and voter registration changed to the new address. This has to be the worst driver's license photo I've ever had. You'd think the DMV would have people taking the photos who actually had some idea of what a camera was. . .
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Quote of the Day: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" -- George Washington
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Rain, rain, rain. It's either too hot, too wet, or both. Ah, summer!
Quote of the Day: "The unnatural, that too is natural." -- Goethe
Graffiti of the Day: "I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure."
I had to get up earlier than I'd planned today. Now I'm sleepy in the middle of the afternoon, with a full late afternoon and evening in front of me. . . zzzzzzzzz
Friday, July 23, 2004
I've been knocking around some of the Usenet newsgroups the past few days -- alt.conspiracy, alt.discordia, alt.slack, and a few others. alt.slack is the home of the Church of the subGenius. It's usually where you'll find all manner of absurdity, dada, surrealism, and just plain goofiness. Lately, even there political discussion has been creeping in. This country is more polarized than it has been since the Civil War, or at least since Nixon. I think we live in dangerous times, particularly for those of us who disagree with the ruling junta.
Quote of the Day: "Under any conditions, anywhere, whatever you are doing, there is some ordinance under which you can be booked. " -- Robert D. Sprecht (Rand Corporation)
It's been raining again, on and off all day. I'm starting to feel waterlogged.
I stopped by Pro-Art to say hi yesterday and talked for a bit with Jack and his son Tracy. I should get out more, but I don't see any real reason to do so. I never buy anything. I never do anything worthwhile. I don't particularly need anything. I do like to talk to people, though. I'd love to be able to walk around downtow and strike up conversations with random people, but my bad leg prevents that particular pleasure.
Someone in Oman likes my web page. They keep returning month after month. I'm not certain it's the same person, but, I mean, how many people are there in Oman who'd want to read this drivel? So far this month, there have been people from 30 countries visiting this site. Here's the big news: As of last night at midnight there had been 19,024 hits on this web site. Wow. I can't believe it. Nearly a thousand of those hits are for the Day Janeiro site, but that still puts this month at a record-setting level, their hits discounted. The previous high-water mark was 17,699 in May. Discounting the 998 Day Janeiro hits, that leave us with 18,026 -- well above the previous mark, and nearly a week to go in the month. I don't understand it. I welcome it, but I really don't get it.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Quote of the Day: "Whenever 'A' attempts by law to impose his moral standards upon 'B', 'A' is most likely a scoundrel" -- H. L. Mencken
Sunday, July 25, 2004
Almost Monday. . .
Quote of the Day: "The one charm of marriage is that it makes a life of deception a neccessity." -- Oscar Wilde
Monday, July 26, 2004
Yep, that's how many hits we've had this month so far. I'm amazed. Let's see if it gets better next month.
Quote of the Day: "Civilization is a movement, not a condition; it is a voyage, not a harbor." -- Arnold Toynbee
The so-called conservatives are always clammoring against trial lawyers, calling for "personal responsibility." Don't they realize that without trial lawyers, corporations and property owners could not be held to account for their personal responsibility? What they want is for business and property owners to do what they will, while the rest of us take responsibility for our own actions and the actions of those they don't think should be accountable to the individual. There's something fundamentally wrong with this philosophy. If we are all expected to take complete responsibility for our actions, then the utility companies should be repairing the streets to the original condition where they dig to fix problems? Corporations should voluntarily recompense the people they damage with their policies and activities. BUt they don't. That's why we need trial lawyers. And that's why so-called "tort reform" is merely another ploy of the rich and powerful to foist the consequences of the well-to-do off onto the victims of their illegal, immoral, and hurtful doings. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Great series on WVPBS-2 television tonight and tomorow night about the history of West Virginia. It's very well done and features a showcase of the local creative talent including Robert Shaffer, mutliple time national flat pick guitar champion and Bob Thompson, who in my opinion is just about the best non-classical pianist alive today. The last three episodes are on tomorrow night starting at seven. So if you missed the first three, don't miss the conclusion. It's sure to be excellent.
Quote of the Day: "Assuming that either the left wing or the right wing gained control of the country, it would probably fly around in circles" -- Pat Paulsen
So that's what's wrong!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
I spent quite a bit of time in Atlanta in the late 70's. Air fare was relatively cheap. I was making decent money at my job and I had four days off every week. I was also supplementing my income in other ways, so I had some disposable cash and could afford to get off work on Thursday morning, fly down to Atlanta, and return in time for work the following Monday evening. I had a great time there.
One of the things I liked to do in Atlanta was visit the High Museum of Art. It was free, open to the public and had a great 19th Century French painting exhibit mostly from the permanent collection and loans from the Boston MFA. The exhibit included Ingres, Corot, academic painters, the Impressionists, Van Gogh, Gaugin, and Cézanne. It was a great show. I went back several times during the week that the show and I were both in the city. I mention this because I noticed in one or other of the trade magazines that the High Museum is putting up a show in October I'd love to see -- "Van Gogh to Mondrian: Modern art from the Kröller-Müller Museum." I don't imagine it's free anymore. Nothing else is. I suppose they need the money because the rich, who used to support the arts, and the NEA have cut their cash flow and they have to depend on the viewing public, the hoi poloi as it were, to make up the difference. That, and charging admission keeps the riff raff out. Can't have the unwashed perhaps gaining a little culture, can we?
Quote of the Day: "Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, it is the rule." -- Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 - 1900)
It's another white-out day. Light gray overcast. At least the temperature isn't what they said it was going to be -- not yet anyway. All this heat and rain and humidity and inadequate air conditioning is getting to me. In the other house, we had central heat and air and I was content. Broken, but content. I actually got some art done, even while I was on my back in bed for six weeks. Here, I am so uncomfortable, cramped, croweded, and upset that I can't do squat. I try, I really do, but it just won't come. Then there's the problem I've developed with floaters in my eyes. They're distracting and worrisome and that just adds to my inability to get much done. I don't even watch television much anymore. Mostly I sit in this chair and read newsgroups.
The hits on this web site are above 21,500 now. There have been visitors from the usual places, Oman, Argentina, Spain, France, England, Czech Republic, Seychelles, etc. and a new one: Faroe Islands. To be honest I'd never heard of them, so I went looking. I found the website of the Faroe Island Tourist Board. It very much looks like a place I'd like to visit, perhaps even retire to. If the person or persons who were looking at these pages from the Faroe Islands should happen to return, please send me an e-mail. I'd like to have a discussion with you about where you live.
Friday, July 30, 2004
Miss me? I took the day off from writing yesterday. I slept late (something I rarely do), had a hot pastrami on rye for lunch, and mostly relaxed until after six. Then we went shopping. Big Lots has tons of photo paper for ink jet printers for $3.99 (20 sheets). That's way better than the normal 10-12 dollars. It's decent paper, too. I got some last time we were there, too. They have a load of presentation and premium ink jet papers for good prices too -- coated stock great for reproduction masters.
Quote of the Day: "There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty. " -- John Adams (1735 - 1826), Journal, 1772
There's going to be an anti-Bush rally here on Labor day. Jesse Jackson will speak. Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, and the Indigo Girls will perform. They should balance the entertainment with some rock'n'roll, jazz, and/or hip hop, don't ya think? Just because we're in West Virginia doesn't mean everyone likes country music. Still, the Sternwheel Regatta will be the few days prior to Labor day, and on Friday night, Collective Soul will be here for a free outdoor concert. Looks like a good weekend for free music. I'd still like to see a balance of music on the Rally day, though.
I haven't done sound since the ninth of the month. I miss it. It's about the only thing I really enjoy of late. My leg has been hurting the past two days (even before we went shopping). I had an appointment with my orthopedic surgeon yesterday, but I slept through it. I don't think I'm going to see him again until I have the money to pay him, since his office is calling and harrassing me about the past due amounts. I told them they'd get their money once I got an insurance settlement, but that's not good enough. They want it now. Well, tough. They'll get it when I have it. If I don't have the money above and beyond customary expenses, how can I give them the few hundred I owe? It's not like it makes one whit of difference to them whether they get it now a little at a time, or all at once when I get my claim settled. Procedures and policies rule the small mind.