Think I’m going to get a tv…

    I’ve got a $100 gift card coming from a camera bag
manufacturer, think I’ll apply it to a tv purchase. It’ll be a smallish
one, prob 20″ or smaller. It’s mostly for baseball, there’s already
been to many times that I’d like to watch a game but Rick wants to
watch a show too… Of course that means I’ll have to figure out where
to put the thing. The obvious choice would be the table with my
computer on it, there is a space I could make for it I suppose, but
that would mean giving up the last bit of space on there…. Another
option is to put my FrankenMac on the floor, I’ll have to look into
that….
    I’ve all but decided against buying a new computer
and LCD screen this year. I’m going to make a concerted effort to not
buy any technology stuff until after I get back from Egypt. I figure
that if I take my (then) 4 year old lap top with me and something
happens to it, I won’t fret too much. Besides, the systems will be
amazing by then…:-) I probably will get the newest version of Apple’s
OS. Unlike Microsoft’s stuff, the newer OS usually runs faster on the
older machines. Plus there’s a bunch of cool features that have been
added too. It’ll be sort of like getting a new computer, right?

Isaac

A friend of mine from college…

    I was just reading some articles that a friend of
mine from college wrote for a little paper in Colorado. He writes under
the name “Kenneth Cleaver” and he is hilarious. If you enjoy self
deprecating, intelligent humor you have to check him out here:

http://www.csindy.com/csindy/authors/kennethhcleaver.html

Sometimes the replies he gets are as funny (or funnier) than the
original letters. As always, some letters are better than others, but
it warms my heart to know that one of my friends is now a professional
smart ass.

Isaac

Bleah…

    Had to take Rick downtown for a CT scan. He’s really
been in a lot of pain, hopefully they’ll be able to take care of this
silliness one way or another. We got great directions, “It’s in
Georgetown”, yeah, if you consider American University Georgetown then
I guess it is. Anyway, hopefully he’ll be coming back from the hospital
tonight and he can get back to normal soon…

Isaac

Marley DVD…

    It’s pretty good, it’s got some great live footage
that I wasn’t expecting. The only real complaint I have is that it’s a
bit of a mishmash of materials. Every time I see the live clips, I wish
I could see the entire concert or appearence. Some of the more amazing
performances were on BBC, and there is inevitably some sort of voice
over half way through the performance. The version of Curfew/Burnin and
Looting is amazing, I only wish they didn’t have an interview over part
of it. I am now going to have to track down as much live Bob Marley
stuff as I can…
    One thing that jumps out at me is what a great soul
singer he is. No, he’s not from Memphis, but all the qualities that
made Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and even Arethea great are there.
Marley’s ability to dig way down and bring out notes and noises that
perfectly communicate his message is uncanny. He can also sweat with
the best of them:-) While American soul singers almost always spring
from gospel roots, Bob also had a religious background. Despite his
appearently mistaken belief that Hallie Salasie was the second coming
of Christ, you can hear the faith, dedication, and inspiration he got
from his faith. I think he’s at least as good as Nusfarat Ali Khan or
Mahalia Jackson in that regard. Bob Marley is one of those performers
that I am more and more impressed with the more I listen to him.
Watching the live footage of him in 1980, you realize what a terrible
loss it was that he died later that year (may I think). Think I’ll try
to listen to Exodus before I go to bed…

Isaac

The heat must…

… bring out all the weirdos. Seriously, work yesterday was filled
with more bitching, kvetching customers than I remember having in a
long time. You’d think I was back in Rockville…. I’m home today
because er… let’s just say I don’t wany to stray too far from the
john. Must have been something I ate… I am trying to get some things
done today. I finally got my “LA Truck” and “Reservation Highway”
pictures the way I want them on my home page. Going through my stack O’
pictures, negs, and slides and trying to organize them a little better
(or at all). What else, oh yeah, there’s a new radio station that’s
given me some hope for FM. It’s 107 point something and they are doing
a really good job mixing up the Rock and Roll. They’ll go from some
80’s hit (and good ones, not “Easy Lover” or some other nonsense) to a
new thing, and then back to something in the 70’s. It’s a little closer
to my variety. They actually played “The Breakup Song” by Greg Khin and
“Superman” by REM the other day, I can’t think of the last time I heard
those on the radio… Oh well, I’m now going to go watch my new Bob
Marley DVD, it’s one of the goodies Amazon sent me for spending so much
freaking miney on their credit card. The DVD has the rep of being
excellent, I’ll report back.

Isaac

A great article

    The NY Times had a great article in it this last
sunday. You can find it here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/weekinreview/17bawer.html?oref=login
You have to register, but it’s free and it’s well worth it for the
read. It talks about Norway and how they see themselves as the richest
country on Earth vs. economic reality.  Norway is known for far
reaching social programs, welfare systems, and really really high
taxes. The upside to this sort of system is that there is little in the
way of abject poverty in that country. The downsides include an
inefficient workforce, low annual growth in the economy, and among the
lowest in purchasing power in the developed world. It’s pretty clear
that the typical Nowigen really has to watch their budget, getting a
pizza delivered will run the equivilent of $45! The US in comparison
offers an abundence of economic freedom, our purchasing power is among
the highest out there.
    Is Norway’s system a good trade off? I dunno, my gut
feeling is that it isn’t. Want to help poor people? Then make sure the
economy is strong. I can’t help but think that economies like Norway
and France will eventually collapse due to massive inefficiencies and
little to no growth over a long period of time. In the meantime, all
the people in those countries are not able to live the way they would
like to… The title of the article is “We’re Rich and You’re not…”
and I’d be happy to email it to you if you’d like, it’s good reading!

Isaac

Yippee!

    My new Peanuts book is here. They are reprinting
every peanuts strip ever made, in chronological order. This is the
third book, it covers from 1955 to 1956. He wrote the strip until 2002!
It’ll be a while till they’re finished. The book (along with a Bob
Marley DVD) is my “reward” for spending so much freaking money on my
Amazon card. The trip will put me well on my way towards another
reward…

Isaac

Some random thoughts from my Ithaca trip

    If you’re curious, I’ve put up a couple of approved
pictures of my cousin Beth in my gallery on my home page. While we were
in the doctor’s office waiting for Beth to be seen, a lady with a
really cute kid came in. He was funny, he had two words to use, “Nana”
for banana, and DA! for everything else. The funniest thing was how he
would point to everything in the magazine she was reading and yell out
definitively “DA!” He knew exactly what everything was, it was DA! I got
a kick out of it…
    I went to church with Beth. I hadn’t been to a
Catholic service in quite some time. I was reminded of how much
emphasis the Church puts on the supernatural and how little the
Protestant faiths do in comparison. The main event of the Mass is
communion, in the Catholic churches this is not a symbolic event, the
wine and bread become the body and blood of Christ (through
transubstantiation). This seriously weirds many people out, but I see a
real symbolic purpose to having rituals like this in the Catholic
churches. It is a strong reminder of how other-worldly the whole thing
is. Most Protestant churches are happy to talk about what God did, what
Jesus did, the Apostles, the prophets, etc. without really acknowledging
how out there all of that stuff is. I don’t mean out there as far as
believability (faith is a funny thing), but out there in the sense that
it has little to do with day to day life. By having a super natural
event every service, the Catholic churches are emphazizing a connection
to the more mystical, less tangible realm of thinking and experience.
It’s an interesting approach, I think that it forms one of the stronger
divisions between how Protestants and Catholics approach religion.
    The trip cost me a bit more than I was anticipating,
but that’s ok, it was worth it. The side effect of that will be that
I’ll be working more hours at Penn. SIGH, I guess I should look on the
bright side, if I’m busy making money, I’m less likely to buy stupid
shit when I’m bored… We’ll see how it goes.

Isaac

A turn for the worse…

    Well, Beth had a relapse of paratonsilatitus… or
something like that. Basicly she had to have an abcess in her throat
lanced and drained. Needless to say, she’s in no mood for even talking
let alone going out and having fun. I hope she’s sleeping well, it’s
about the best thing to do right now… SIGH, I’d do just about
anything to make her feel better, but of course there isn’t anything I
can do. Yes, I already got her some flowers, she appreciates the
gesture, but it doesn’t actually improve her situation.
    This kind of put a damper on my day. I also had what
I consider the worst Chinese food I’ve ever eaten. It was at a place
called King Buffet. I know, I know, what did I expect? Well, I was
expecting cheap Chinese buffet food, but this was taken to a whole
other level. Even the Wonton soup was bad. The only worse “Chinese”
food I ever had was when I made the mistake of orddering the “Chinese
stir fry” at a truckstop in Kingman Arizona. I’m willing to forgive
them since it was a truckstop and anyone that is stupid enough to order
Chinese food there deserves what they get. This place on the other hand
billed itself as a Chinese place. SOme would say that I shouldn’t
complain since I could have gotten a weeks worth of food for 6 bucks,
but I think I was overcharged. I’m in no mood to do much of anything.
Think I’ll have a final (formally) Rogan’s pizza and a pint of Purity
Ice cream tonight while watching a game… I leave tomorrow, I’m going
to make an attempt at using my large format cameras on the way out of
dodge, but we’ll see. Be back in the DC area on wed.

Isaac