Saturday, March 31, 2007

On a Lighter Note

Hillbilly Overalls:



I'm speechless.

Charge Them With What?

Acting out what they have been taught in "health" class? If you want to watch a liberal twist themselves into a logical pretzel, ask them why students are being expelled, sent to alternative schools and being given detention for exercising their right to self-expression via consensual sexual acts.

Liberalism is a consolation prize for the West as it slowly commits suicide.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

More Photos Again

I just tossed up another 60 or so photos onto our Flickr account. We seem to take a lot of sunset and sunrise pictures. It's probably due to the current timing of those events; I walk to my job around sunrise and we watch the sunset during dinner. For the last 20 years, I've always been either in a vehicle driving to or from work, or at work buried in a cube farm and unaware of the existence of the sun.

In any case, enjoy!!

Blogging

I didn't even realize than the anniversary date for this blog came and went. I started using Blogger on March 3, 2004; over three years ago. The only reason I noticed my "blog-versary" was because I was cleaning out some stuff and found all the posts from my old daynotes page I had for many years before giving in to the ease of using Blogger rather than hand-coding HTML in Notepad. Now those were the days.... uphill... both ways... barefoot... in the snow... with barb wire wrapped around our feet for traction...

Sorry. For a second there, I believe I was channeling my grandfather.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Cheap, Clean Electricity

“The money we’re talking about is spent in an hour or two in Iraq.”

Electric generators that do not produce CO2 or radiation. All for some fraction of one percent of what we are pouring into the sands of Iraq every year. Will we do it? I think anyone that has been reading this blog knows my answer. Will the Japanese and/or the Chinese jump all over this? I don't know for sure, but I'd be willing to bet a couple paychecks the Japanese already are and the Chinese aren't too far behind. Meanwhile, Europe voluntarily Islamifies itself (and we all know what technological marvals pour forth from Islamic countries), while we impose ruinous taxes our most productive citizens to send our young men and women to their deaths.
We hear that there are tumults and riots in Rome, and that voices are raised concerning the army and the quality of our soldiers. Make haste to reassure us that you love and support us as we love and support you, for if we find that we have left our bones to bleach in these sands in vain, then beware the fury of the legions.
Two thousand years and the politicians haven't learned a damn thing.

Proof of Global Warming

Hmmm. I guess global warming is real....

Satellite View of Arcosanti

Matt sent this to us yesterday. Pretty good picture of the place. Recent as well. We live in the back part of the crescent-shaped structure on the right (east) side of the site, just to the right of the gap.

Here is an inaccurate as well as crappy photo of our house that will be auctioned off on May 5th. I guess there really isn't a demand for high-resolution photos of Custer Township. Of course, I wouldn't have believed that anyone would want hi-res photos of Arcosanti either, but what do I know?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Saturday, March 17, 2007

World War One Passes from Living Memory

The last WWI combat veteran is laid to rest.
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work -

I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:

What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

--Carl Sandburg

The Great Global Warming Swindle

The BBC gives a few facts that Al Gore seems to have missed.

Sorry, Al. It looks like the truth is more inconvenient for you than for me.

[Update: It was British Channel 4, not the BBC.]

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Great Weather

These past couple weeks have been great for us Michiganders here in Arizona. Highs in the 70's and tomorrow and this weekend in the 80's. Ric already has a good start on his "farmer's tan" -- he is slowly working on the rest of his body. (No -- not ALL of it!) I've been working full time hours for the past four days and haven't had the chance to really be outside. Hopefully this weekend! Now that the nicer weather is here, we may plan on taking in some siteseeing on the weekends. Right now, since Ric is scheduled to do tours til 2p (or so), it will be ones that are close. Then he can start requesting either Sat or Sun off and we can take the day and go do the tourist thing further away.

My work is going good. We are still not in our new office location -- it has been put on until May. I won't be able to move up to full time until we get into the new office. Right now I share a desk with somebody that nevers seems to be able to leave/clock out on time. It gets kinda frustrating. (Plus she is a pack rat and messy -- I don't have much room to work) I will LOVE it when we get into the new office and I can finally get organized the way I WANT! Clients here are different than in Kalkaska -- biggest difference is the money being spent. I've never done soo many "big ticket vacations" before. It is awesome -- I get so excited to do a Tahiti land only honeymoon package for $6300+ -- but it is everyday stuff to my manager. I may get used to it, but right now I still call Ric and say WOO HOO! when I close a big sale.

For those of you that are still interested -- we are planning on doing a family/friends cruise again. Our destination this time is Alaska -- most likely July of 2008 -- doing a northbound cruise -- so everybody can chose to add pre nites in Vancouver and post nights in Anchorage or do a land tour and go see Denali National Park. If you are slightly interested, let me know, so I can get your name on my contact list.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Yep

"Let's face it. We're not changing the world. We're building a product that helps people buy more crap - and watch porn."

Seagate CEO Bill Watkins

[If you are not in the IT industry, Seagate makes computer hard drives and other hardware.]

Fred. Again.

Thoughts on a couple articles from Fred Reed's site:

I used to care about stock markets. Then I noticed something about the nightly "analysis" from places like NPR: the exact same event could move the stock market up, down, or sideways. For example, rumors of war would "scare" the stock market one day and cause it to drop, cause "uncertainty" the next moving the market sideways, then "strengthen" it the following day when the bombs start dropping due to the end of uncertainty and the prospect of increased government orders for military hardware. In other words, stock markets are random with only slightly better odds than a government-run lottery and about the same odds as blackjack. In fact, I've made a better return on my "investments" at the Vegas MGM blackjack tables than I ever have in the stock market.

Then I started looking carefully at other "indicators" such as GDP and economic growth. I realized that the tsunami in Indonesia was good, hurricanes wiping out entire sections of the US coastline and leaving a major population center under water was fantastic. My parents being satisfied with living in the same house for forty years was bad, treasonous even. How dare they not "trade up" every three-to-five years as they should. Every day it makes less and less sense to me, so I decided that I'm not going to play anymore. When I was growing up, all the cool people walked around spouting variations of "What if they gave a war and nobody came?" My 21st century version is "What if they handed me and economic treadmill and I refused to get on?"

Anyway, enough of my rambling. Go read Fred.

Fred also reflects on our national myth vs. our national reality: the rugged, individualistic, risk-taking lovers of freedom we think we are vs. the sissyfied, herd-following, seatbelted/airbaged/crash-helmeted lovers of safety-above-all-else we have become.

Fanatics "R" Us

Tom runs into a typical fanatic simply by mentioning that he didn't think much of the movie Ishtar. From it's entry in IMDb, it doesn't look like he was alone. In fact, I think it's safe to say that people stayed away in droves given a $55 million-dollar film that only pulled $12.7 million at the box office. Before this, I had never heard of it (we went to see Beverly Hills Cop II). You can thank Google Alerts for this sort of thing. Now anyone in the world can log onto Google, enter any words or phrases (like Ishtar, Ishtar, Ishtar Ishtar...) that they want Google to watch for, and be instantly alerted via e-mail that someone, somewhere has mentioned a topic near and dear to their heart so they can swoop in and deface some poor soul's family blog.

Don't get me wrong; Google Alerts is a great thing, and if I were head of the PR division of an organization, I would have alerts on any and every word that was even tangently related to my business as well as the names of the company, its products, the CEO, CFO, CIO, trustees, directors, president, etc. Here at Arcosanti, our PR guy has alerts for "Arcosanti", "Paolo", "Soleri", "arcology", and numerous others (hey Stefan!). But setting an alert for a twenty-year-old box office turkey so you can run all over the internet hammering on anyone that isn't as much in love with it as you are? Get a life.

Friday, March 02, 2007

This is a Test

Watch how this story unfolds over the next six months or so. The outcome will determine whether we stay at least a nominal republic, or we continue to follow the example set by every republic in history.

"A republic, Ma'am, if you can keep it."

I'm not optimistic we can.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Surprise Visitor

[Update: please see comments for a response from Mr. Roth and a bit of an apology from me.]

I received a note in our mailbox from the lady that runs Arcosanti's guest services (in English, she's my boss when I give tours). Seems a "journalist" (to be fair, this was her term; the writer as far as can tell makes no such claim) came visiting last week and got a few wrong impressions of us. As you might expect, I have a few thoughts on the matter:

First of all, Mr. Roth was given some bad, or at least misleading information on his tour. There have been several new tour guides (including yours truly) and the training is somewhat lacking. Mostly you follow around a few tours and read some printed material, then someone is supposed to follow you around to make sure you don't give out bad or misleading information. In my case, I was doing tours before I followed any because the person I was going to follow couldn't do the tour at the last minute, and I have yet to have anyone follow me. What can I say other than "We're working on it."

Mr. Roth's first two sentences about Arcosanti are: "For Arcosantians, Paolo Soleri is the sun. As if to prove it, our guide pronounced his Christian name much like Apollo." Uh, that might be because that's how his name is pronounced. Talk about reading way too much into nothing.

Anyone who calls Paolo's home luxurious has obviously never been to Cosanti. Paolo lives in a small ranch house that was on the property when it was purchased in the 1950's. Emphasis on the "small".

Most residents don't even bother to attend School of Thought, not alone "flock to hear him [Paolo]." And the ones that do attend are far from slack-jawed worshippers at the feet of the Master. Paolo is frequently challenged, argued with, shouted down, and even booed on occasion. There may be uncritical worshippers of Paolo somewhere, but you won't find them here.

Mr. Roth says, "The name [Arcosanti] is said to mean 'against material things' -anti-cosi - thought quite obviously it was meant to suggest a sacred ark as well." It was meant to suggest no such thing. First, Cosanti is a word Paolo made up by combining anti (Latin for "against") and cosa (Italian for "things") and is meant to convey the idea of 'against material things'. Arcology is a work Paolo made up by combining "architecture" and "ecology" and is stands for a style of architecture that is designed to fit into the local ecology instead of in opposition to it. Arcosanti is the combination of "arcology" and "cosanti". Mr. Roth links to the Wikipedia entry on Consanti which clearly explains all this. No suggestion of a "sacred ark" other than in the author's own imagination.

No one pays Paolo to have him sketch them in the nude. If Mrs. Roth could have checked her "horror" long enough to read the leaflets that were sitting directly in front of her while she was leafing through the portfolio, she would have known that.

I could go on and on (no, we don't all huddle around a ringing phone breathlessly hoping it's Paolo; no, our TV wasn't stolen; yes, the five school-age kids here ride a bus seven whole miles to school just like millions of other kids) but that probably amounts to beating a dead horse.

The Decline of Western Civilization

From Rome to Pennsylvania to South Carolina.

Liberals say the problem with our public schools is that we don't spend enough money on them.

I say liberals suffer from blunt force trauma to the head.

Liberalism is a philosophy of consolation for Western Civilization as it commits suicide.

Bob Seger II

Well, Debbie beat me to the punch on the Seger thing, but I would just like to second her opinion of the show. It was fantastic!! It's obvious when someone is doing what they love to do. Just a few random thoughts about the night:

Listen, honey; the halter top may have made you look hot the last time Seger was in town twelve years ago, but I suggest that you buy a concert t-shirt and change into it. Quick. Please. For the sake of all humanity.

Who let in all the old people? Most of the people there looked like they were at least forty. Oh, wait.....

Thanks, Bob, for lowering all your songs about six half-steps. I'm sure it makes things easier on you, and those of us singing along in the audience really appreciate it as well. Er, I mean all those old people really appreciate it.

Whoever designed the US Airways Center should get some sort of medal. I have never seen a performance space empty so quickly and smoothly in twenty-plus years of attending concerts. The people literally drained out of the building and into the parking areas in a matter of minutes.

Whoever designed the traffic patterns in Phoenix should be violated then shot.

Whoever designed the stupid traffic circles on the Happy Valley Road exit should be forced to drive back and forth through them for all eternity. The seventh circle of Dante's Hell has nothing on them. (Note for our northern Michigan readers: the powers-that-be in Traverse City want to inflict these stupid and completely unnecessary hazards to life and limb on you. Whatever it takes, do not let them get away with it.)

Anyway, my lunch hour is almost over, so I'll just wrap this up by saying that we had a great time and it was worth every penny and every hassle (even Madam Sags-A-Lot and her infinitely stretchy halter top).

Keep rockin', Bob!!

Time off

Tuesday, Ric and I both worked just the morning shift and took the rest of the day off. We headed down to Phoenix for the rest of the day. First we stopped at TGI Fridays to finally use my gift certificate from about 1999. I"m glad Ric drove here -- it had TWO ROUNDABOUTS! I probably would have never figured out how to get to where I wanted to go. Leaving Fridays we had to go out of our way to finally get going in the correct direction, but finally made it to the roundabouts and made it back to the expressway again.

Then south on I-17 towards the US Airways Center to see BOB SEGER! We got there early, so we got into a decent parking ramp right across from the center (only cost $8). We had to wander around for awhile since they weren't letting people in yet (and of course, the bathrooms were on the inside and not accessible).

Finally got in and went to find our seats. Section 104, row 24, seats 8 and 9 -- off center of the stage. Not too bad. We found out there was an opening act --- Steve Azar. He was on for about 40 minutes. Then after the stage rearrange -- the main course was ready to come out. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band came on stage to a screaming crowd. It was great. He sang old songs mixed in with stuff from his new CD. The majority of the crowd sang right along with him (on the old songs, of course!) Bob was wearing a black t shirt and black jeans. He is still looking good (for his age) , hair is graying and his beard has gray in it -- but he can still belt out the songs! They played for about 1hr, then took about a 10 min intermission and came back out to play again. It was one of the longest concerts I've seen of his. He still has three members of the Silver Bullet Band with him ... the keyboard player, one guitar player and Alto Reed the sax player. Alto still has the moves and can make the sax just sing out! It was awesome to watch him.

Bob finished the regular sets with Katmandu. They came back for two encores. The first one he came out with Night Moves and Hollywood Nights. The second one was Against the Wind and Rock and Roll Never Forgets. I'm glad we splurged and bought the tickets.
We will NEVER forget BOB SEGER!!!!!