New computer WOOHOO!

    Well, I finally got my new computer. A fully tricked
out Mac Mini. It’s about three times faster than my FrankenMac, and it
makes a world of difference. Even my wireless keyboard responds better!
Plus, it’s so tiny and quiet! I’m very happy with it, it’s nice to have
a real desktop computer again, maybe I’ll do more writing now that I
don’t have to use my laptop for all of my website stuff. We’ll see…

Isaac

Dick Craft died

    I come not to praise him, but to bury him… I have
mixed feelings, this is the guy my mother left my father for. I lived
with him for a year or two and mom almost married him. People seemed to
like him quite a bit, but I never got past the drinking and the
subsequent boorish behaviour. I still feel bad about leaving my brother
to live in that house when he was only 12 or 13. I distinctly remember
mom telling me that Dick could grow on me. “Yeah, just like cancer” was
my reply. Of course that was what killed him… Karma is can bite you
in the ass like that… Looking back, I probably was too hung up on him
not being my father to ever really give him any sort of chance. If
there’s one thing I’ve learned in the time since then, it’s that every
one has problems. At the time I had no problems judging him, now I see
that he was doing what he could. Being human is a tough thing when
dealing with a cynical know it all who was trying to deal with his
parents’ divorce. SIGH, rest easy Dick, here’s to hoping that all
that’s behind you now…

Isaac

    The trip was nice. Hung out with my aunt and
grandmother quite a bit. I ate waaaayy too much and I slept quite a
bit. Can’t believe that I have to go back to work tomorrow, that’s
going to suck. Wonder how late I’m going to get up, hopefully I’ll
still get to work on time… Oh well, all good things must end I
suppose.

Isaac

    Here’s a quick entry over at cafe hayek that talks
about the common misunderstanding about profits of companies. There’s
this idea that transactions are a zero sum game, one of the parties is
screwed while the other benefits. This is obviously not true, both
parties benefit, even when the price is high, otherwise the transaction
would not happen at all. There’s some good reading over there, check
this article and the on gas lines in florida out…

http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/3466470

Isaac

Random stuff

My cousin read my post about her picture and the comments. She found it “interesting.” We had a brief discussion about not recognizing ourselves in pictures or even in the mirror sometimes. I’ll write more about that later on… I’ve put up a couple of my econ papers on my web site. These were on the old site too, but I’m just now getting them up on the current one. These are the colonial tithing paper and the mathematical econ paper about gift giving at Christmas. Read and enjoy:-)

Isaac

    It was a weird music day. First off, I heard
“Superman” by the Kinks for the first time in years. It was during the
promos for the World Series. Then I had to sit through an awful
rendition of the Star Spangled Banner sung by Michael McDonald. Whose
idea was that? It is a notoriously difficult song to sing, even for
good singers. Michael McDonald has never had any range to speak of, so
the results were predictible. Aaron Neville sang “God Bless America.”
God, was it bad. It’s only the world series, only millions of people
watching, why practice, or even get decent singers? How important could
it be?

    I’ve updated the best songs never heard on my
website. I’ve also started a section on the worst songs ever heard at a
wedding. I’m hoping that you’ll join in and send me some ones you’ve
heard.

Isaac

The picture that no one likes (except me)

    I’m visiting my grandmother up in Connecticut. I
brought along my laptop so that I could show her some pictures of my
cousin (her granddaughter) that I took a little while ago. She didn’t
even recognize her! Keep in mind that up until last year, they had been
living together for years. My grandmother told me that it wa a terrible
picture, in very bad taste. The trouble is, it’s one of my favorites.
Beth (the subject of the picture) calls it “depressing”. If you’re
interested, it’s the one of her face on my website.
    It’s a little troubling to hear that one of your
favorite pictures is in “bad taste.” It is a little “gritty”, and she’s
not smiling. Plus, it’s in B&W. Still, I think it’s an interesting
expression, and I love how her eyes came out. What I think they are
reacting to is the decision to make a picture that was deliberately not
“pretty.” There is also a bit of a confrontational feel to the picture
which removes it from the realm of the snapshot. Beth thinks she looks
pissed off in the picture. I don’t think she does, at least not all the
time. I have trouble taking beautiful pictures seriously (sorry Jenny).
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy beauty (especially in women), but I don’t
trust in it’s ability to convey much or to hold our interest for very
long. Too often, beauty is used as a substitute for meaning or at least
complexity. I find myself coming back to Beth’s picture again and
again. Of course part of it is that I love her dearly and it’s a
reminder of a great visit. But beyond that, I can’t help but feel that
something else was captured, something that wouldn’t be there if I used
the typical poses with Rembrandt lighting. I think that she’s beautiful,
and I think that it shows through in that picture (check out those
cheekbones and those eyes!) but it doesn’t overwhelm her. The
expression is vague enough that it’s interpretation can change on
different viewings of the picture.
    It isn’t a picture that cements a certain feeling
but one that can bring ones up. I think that is what is provoking those
reactions. Beth was hoping that I’d make her look like a super model
and her grandmother was hoping I’d show an angel. She is neither
although she can be angelic and she is certainly good looking, she is
quite a bit more complicated than that and I think the picture reflects
that. Why people are afraid of complicated pictures of complicated
subjects is beyond me, they’re just going to have to deal with it.

New favorite adult swim show.

    Here’s the synopsis from Amazon, “In search for a
captive pirate, an alien girl riding a Vespa uses a 12-year-old boy’s
head as a multidimensional channel.” Believe it or not, that’s pretty
accurate. FLCL is my new favorite “WTF was that?” program. It’s
difficult to follow, has great music (have to pick up a cd by the
pillows), and almost makes sense. I’m impressed by any TV show that
makes me concentrate in order to follow it.
    Well, I’m off to Conneticut for a week to visit my
Aunt, Unclem and Grandmother. My cousin Beth will not be there, but Ed
will be. It’s always nice to get up there and away from here… I’m
hoping to be able to take my guitar so that I can work on my chords,
and hopefully will update my website with some stuff I’ve been thinking
about. Updates to come!

Isaac

One more

The 5×7 field camera and the two lenses got sold tonight. That leaves just one large piece of equipment to go and a bunch of little stuff… It feels pretty good to turn this stuff into money, and rather significant amounts of it I might add… Of course I’ve been thinking about the replacements, hehehehehe. I *may* get a 4×5 (mostly) metal field camera with a lens and a couple of roll film backs for my big trip. I think I’ll definatly get a Contax G1 with a 45mm lens. This will be less than a 5th of the price of my most recent stuff, but it will take as good a picture and most importantly, it will small enough for me to take to Egypt:-)

Isaac

Ahhh, that makes more sense…

    Went to my second guitar lesson today. Got a few
things cleared up and now those little squiggly marks on those lines
make more sense:-) Gotta work on my chords, I was supposed to be doing
arpeggiaeted (sp?) chords, not strumming them. It sounds much better
the right way…
    Speaking of music, I rediscovered Amazon’s free
downloads. They have a lot of music, some of it is even good! There’s a
bunch of stuff from the Hives, Rancid, and probably some less rocking
stuff too. I was on the prowl for some new stuff after coming face to
face with some really terrible music in my iTunes collection. Sexgang
children’s version of “As Tears Go By” is as awful as their name
sounds. And then there was “Kiss Kiss” by Yoko Ono where she simulates
an orgasm… I kid you not. Yes I know, but her stuff is mixed in with
John Lennon’s on Double Fantasy, some stuff slips through once in a
while.
    What else… Oh, I bought some DVDs. That will no
doubt surprise many of you, seeing as there are very few movies that I
like. I got “Swimming to Cambodia”,  “Flamenco”, “The Venture
Brothers season 1”, and “Fandango.” I have an attraction to performance
pieces, and “Swimming…” and “Flamenco” are what those are. “Flamenco”
is  a beautiful film showing the various styles of Flamenco
singing, dancing, and playing. “Swimming” is a film version of a
Spaulding Gray monolouge. He talks about working on “The Killing
Fields” and what he learned when doing it. “Fandango” may surprise a
lot of you. It is a Judd Nelson/ Kevin Cosner film. It’s one of the few
films that I can stand Cosner, probably because he plays a real jerk…
It’s funny, and I have some good memories attached to it. Plus it was
cheap:-)

Isaac