Category: General Page 1 of 12

A dreadful catch-all, mostly for pre-WordPress posts.

No time like the present

I haven’t written much here lately. (I haven’t written much here in twenty years.) But that’s okay.

Every so often I think about writing a blog entry. I log in, write a couple hundred words, and sleep on it.

For three months.

Then I get the urge to write again. So I log back in, re-read, rewrite, update, cut, revise, save a new draft, and log off. This has become a vicious cycle. Each slice of life seems very significant when you only publicly share your thoughts a few times a year.

Sometimes I don’t have sufficient energy to meet my own (unfair and unrealistic) standards. Sometimes I’m afraid to express my opinions—or reveal my human vulnerabilities—to anyone but my inner circle. Sometimes what I write seems glib and reductive. (See “unfair standards.”)

The immediate context is, of course, a worldwide pandemic. We are all doing the best we can—and it really sucks.

The larger context is capitalism. Who knew that a system based on exploiting some segment of the population would prove harmful to human beings (collectively and individually) and our entire ecosystem? (I could go on, but others have done it better before me.)

Allowing myself to be flooded with despair by seemingly intractable problems doesn’t help. But I also will not blithely ignore injustice.

So I will do what I can to help in some incremental way. To do that, I need to take care of myself. Part of that is being okay with my limitations, and being kind and compassionate with myself when I do less than I (unrealistically) expect myself to do. It’s knowing when to push myself and when to take it easy.

I’ve been devouring books in 2021. A lot has been fantasy or science fiction—commonly, with the theme of expanding beyond the Earth’s atmosphere into the immense (and frequently hostile) universe, or transcending our mortal limits in some way. (Cixin Liu, Becky Chambers, Ann Leckie, John Scalzi, Naomi Novik, Brandon Sanderson, Matt Haig, Neal Stephenson, Kim Stanley Robinson, and James S.A. Corey: thank you.) It seems natural to fall back into escapism and expansive thinking at a time like this. I’d recommend it to the extent that it feels okay.

I also recommend taking it easy on yourself and everyone else. I do try to listen to my own advice, really.

I do, at least, allow myself to feel grateful and even proud. Dawn and I have accomplished so much in the last two years. We have our sweet cats, our thriving careers, our friends and family, and of course each other. I take none of this for granted. I continue to fail to meet the (possibly unrealistic) standards I set for myself around getting back in touch with people. (So, if you have my number in your phone, or not, feel free to reach out.)

I’m doing fine. It’s a disorienting and frequently disheartening time to be alive. But I, we—all of us—are resilient.

2021 is done. 2022 — be better!

How can I say “here are some links” in a compelling fashion?

“[T]his notion that voluntary programs alone will work to address global warming in the utility sector is a farce”.

You heard it here first: Noam Chomsky has a blog.

Confused about what’s going on in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and other countries in that area of the country? So is Scout, which is why he’s bloggin the Stans.

Speaking of oddly named nation states, I’ve created one. It’s a minor diversion but a very clever way to sell a book.

Is your house messy? I admit I’ve reached second degree squalor.


Mmmm… cake.


Claim vs. Fact: Condoleeza Rice. A must-read.

ornamental divider

It’s not that I’ve been too busy to update, though in some ways I have. The biggest reason for my non-loquaciousness is that my monitor stopped working. Therefore, I haven’t had access to my computer in the last few weeks. The stopgap solutions haven’t worked, so I plan to buy a new monitor; I’ll probably bus down to CompUSA and buy another 17-inch CRT (the cheapest solution backed by warranty and not requiring shipping charges). Fun.

It’s my niece’s first birthday today. Yay!

Richard who?

One Republican’s take on Richard Clarke.

ides of march

Okay, okay, I’m back. Sheesh. Don’t all clamor for news at once.

I suppose I ought to do a post-mortem of my Howard Dean experience. I don’t know if I’ll ever have the heart to do that, since it was ultimately fairly disappointing to me. You can look at the pictures I took here. Unfortunately, they’re in reverse chronological order and don’t have titles. Ah, well.

Incidentally, since Dean dropped out of the presidential race, I’ve concentrated on the main task at hand in my life: finishing the CLCV web redesign. It’s basically done, though there is still some tweaking necessary. I’m proud of it, though, and impressed by the independence and efficiency of my work (and, yes, I do say so myself).

I do, of course, urge you to vote for John Kerry for President in November, for reasons I hardly need to elucidate.

The weather here has been spectacular and my taxes are done. That’s good. However, my bike’s derailleur kind of self-destructed Saturday (I think it’s fixable) and I’m running for staff representative to the CLCV Board of Directors (in what is turning out to be an outrageously excessively political process, unsurprisingly). All in all, an okay Ides of March.


2004 brings a vast (but humble) new repository of site content. Finally, I’ve organized many of the photos I’ve taken over the last 6 months (since getting a digital camera and then a camera phone) and posted them on the site. None of them saw Photoshop at all, and the html is straight from iPhoto, but hey—they’re up.

on the presidential race

Finally saw Winged Migration last night. A good movie, but I saw it in Berkeley at the Elmwood Theater. The contradictory opinions some people have are amazing. For example, the scene in which people hunted geese with shotguns was met with hisses and disapproving gasps. The scene in which a bird hunted a fish with its beak was not. People, it’s essentially the same thing.

For the record, since I haven’t mentioned the presidential race since June, I’m for Howard Dean.

today’s thing

I had a nice last couple months; thanks for (ahem) asking. I went to Wisconsin to see the family for Thanksgiving. I plan to go back for Christmas and New Year’s, tentatively. [People in Madison and Chicago, be ready! Want to have a New Year’s party?]

I’ve also been hanging out with friends from work. We’ve been watching Hitchcock movies, including “The 39 Steps” yesterday. Fun!

Also, I’m [semi-] working on changes to this site—I honestly plan to put up my last year’s worth of pictures. There are just so many, though; it takes a long time, especially if I want to add captions. I’ll just have to cut down the number. I’m also working hard on the CLCV web redesign. I have a meeting with the ad hoc redesign committee next Friday to pick a design direction. From a graphic design perspective, this project should turn out at least as well as the DNR redesign of [geez] 2 years ago (though it’s an overall feat of much less magnitude, it’s as significant to my portfolio at this point).

Standing invitations to the Bay Area for all, by the way… it is beautiful here in the winter. Beautiful. Sure, it rains a little, but today I was a little too warm wearing a sweatshirt and jeans. It’s paradise, really.

Today’s thing: After an extended break, I’m back. Today’s thing is that I think I’m going to implement a daily feature called “Today’s Thing” on the homepage. I will update it each day. (We’ll see.)

the recall disaster

Why isn’t the truth out there?

The recall disaster culminates in an election tomorrow. I shudder to think what’s going to happen. That being said, I’ll be relieved when it’s over.

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