January 25, 2003


If you are in the Duluth area, my combo, the Spontaneous Combustion Jazz Sextet, is playing tonight (Saturday) at Beaner’s Central. Opening band starts at 8:00. We start at 9:00 and are to play for a long, long time.

It’s gonna rock, so be there.

January 23, 2003

cunning like a… weasel…

Well, so far things are off to a pitiful start. Due to my cunning resourcefulness I bought all my textbooks online rather than bending over and letting the big man at the UMD Bookstore have his way. Due to my cunning resourcefulness I still don’t have my textbooks. They arrived yesterday, but I was at school from 10:30 to 10:30 so I couldn’t visit the mailroom in time to glean my packages from them. Due to my cunning resourcefulness, I got to fail a QUIZ on our SECOND DAY OF CLASS.

During the open-book quiz I did plug in the name of my missing textbook, called up its “Look Inside!!!!!” page scans off Amazon.com, and was able to answer half the questions before the bookstore mafia realized that I wasn’t just browsing. But 50% don’t cut it in the mafia. With only one broken kneecap, your charity can still hobble away. I’m a horrible failure.

But at least I’m cunning. Did I mention I was cunning?

hey man, lay off the politiks

Iraqis seem to think that the exchange rate for blood and oil ain’t that bad after all.

Citing interviews with Iraqi asylum-seekers arriving in Britain, officials claimed that the modest but significant unrest in central Iraq has unnerved the authorities, who have taken steps to shore up their flagging support and to crush dissent.

I pray for the lives of Iraqi asylum-seekers that foolishly stumbled into Paris and Berlin.

Anti-Saddam slogans, such as “For how long will the Iraqi people sleep?”, have been daubed on statues and photographs of the Iraqi leader. Leaflets predicting Saddam’s downfall have also been circulated. The campaign of dissent, which is punishable by death for anyone caught, has apparently been co-ordinated by two opposition groups emboldened by the prospect of a looming war.

Good for them. With any luck, this war will be fought both inside and out.

your mom is unreadable

Hank: Your weblog is horribly gone and unreadable!

Sun Ra: Erm… It’s still there, and quite readable.

Hank: Never mind. I think it’s a horrible problem on my end.

Sun Ra: I have a horrible problem with my ‘end’ as well.

Hank: You’ve gotta give up snowboarding…

Sun Ra: You’ve gotta give up your mom.

Hank: Yeah, but EBay keeps saying it’s against their rules and yanks down her auction.

Sun Ra: Has she tried CarSoup.com?

clueless pre-war round up

Den Beste gazes at his crystal ball. A few of his main points:

We’ll probably start hostilities on 1/31 or 2/1. The U.S. may use anti-transistor weapons early on to disable Iraqi equipment and force a surrender with a minimum of bloodshed. In 1991, we treated surrendering Iraqi soldiers better than their own country. If we are met with force, there will be a slaughter. This is war, not Candyland.

Yes, an early move in the war will be to secure Iraqi oil fields. Remember when Saddam torched the fields of Kuwait on his way out? We don’t want that. The oil fields are worth something to the Iraqi people, and could help fund the reconstruction of Iraq. Colin Powell sez they’ll be held in trust for the Iraqi people:

“If we are the occupying power, it will be held for the benefit of the Iraqi people and it will be operated for the benefit of the Iraqi people,” he said.

Yes, the U.S. will control Iraqi oil output. Political turmoil in Iran and Saudi Arabia could result in wild fluctuations in the price of oil that would result in a worldwide depression. In this case, the U.S. will make sure that Iraq (for the first time in a long while) would no longer the Middle East’s basketcase whipping boy. The oil will be sold on the market at the prevailing rate.

Den Beste doesn’t believe rumors that the U.S. would sell Iraqi oil to recoup its own war costs. Words are cheap. I don’t believe the rumors either, and will be appalled if this becomes the case.

January 21, 2003

your mom is cold

Cold. So very cold. Marrow-cracking cold. The kind of cold that seeps into your brain and frostbites your thoughts. It’s currently 0 with a windchill of -14 and a clear sky, so we’re sure to lose some digits tonight.

It’s currently 38 degrees in Hood River, Oregon. 10 in Barrow, Alaska.. 23 Anchorage. 16 in Fairbanks. 2 in Deadhorse. -16 in Tower, Minnesota.

And I really wouldn’t mind the cold so much if we actually had a real winter going on here, but all we’ve got is a 1/4″ of snow and 10″ of salt. Driving in the Cities you would occasionally find yourself blinded by salt fogs kicked up from the street by all the cars. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

January 20, 2003

tim the enchanter

An anonymous tipster named Tim pointed out this article to me. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the past that corporations are considered ‘persons’ and should enjoy the same rights as individuals. Last month, Porter Township in Pennsylvania passed an ordinance to deny corporations individual rights stated under the U.S. Constitution. They are the first local government in the U.S. to do so.

Props to them for tossing down the gauntlet, but there’s only one problem that I see. State and local governments are permitted to offer more freedom than the U.S. Supreme Court decrees, but never less. This case is interesting, as it’s not about what rights can be enjoyed by whom, but who can enjoy those rights to begin with. The USSC has ruled that corporations are people, so its unlikely that this law claiming they’re not will stand without contest.

The author of this article buries the lead under a painfully long introduction, sounds like a blowhard, and is short on the actual facts. I’m also not finding any records of this story under LexisNexis. Nothing under U.S. news. Nothing under Pennsylvania news. Nothing under legal news. A corporate conspiracy?

I’ve found similar articles under ReclaimDemocracy.org and TheVoiceNews.com that have more information and are much easier to read.

slip, stitch and pass

Well. School starts tomorrow for the last time ever. It’s a good thing, too, cuz I’m really running out of things to do. All my Blither archives from Cromlech have finally fallen under the grinding gears of Movable Type. The photo indexes have been updated to allow easier navigation back to the main indexes. Photo galleries from camp and Colorado have been uploaded. The individual and monthly archives have been given a beautiful and unified design complete with mountains. The Muffler Man featured on the splash page has stepped down from his podium to allow more mountains.

“I want to see mountains again, Gandalf, mountains!”

“You wrinkly little hobbit, everywhere I look, it’s mountains. Wild wide panoramas of nothing but mountains. Mountains to the north, mountains to the south. Mountains to the east and cranky mountains that spit fire and smoke and orcs to the west. I climb up a spine in the hills and the helicopter zooms by just to show off the stupid mountains.”

This website is knitting for me. I knit keep my hands busy during idle times. I can’t stand being idle… I need to always be doing something. I often take my meals while pacing around the kitchen. My winter break was a whirlwind of activity that has taken me from Duluth to the Cities to Madison to the Cities to Camp to the Cities to Duluth to the Cities to Boulder to Golden to Dillon to Boulder to the Cities to Duluth to Two Harbors to the Cabin to Duluth.

It’s a busy and exhausting life, but I love it that way. Ironically, the less I do the more tired I feel, which is why I’m excited for school to start. Still, tomorrow I don’t have class until 2:00, and all this semester I never have class before noon. This is any college senior’s dream, but I’m going to go absolutely crazy if I don’t make up some reasons to get out of the apartment before noon every day. Often class is the only thing that pulls me away from the computer. I don’t particularly enjoy sitting in front of it, but I keep finding so many neat things to read, and things to do, and photos to edit, and emails to send, and code to fix, that’s it’s easy to get tons of stuff done right here and never venture outside.

Class at 2:00 doesn’t mean I’ll sleep until noon like any normal student. Class at 2:00 means I’ll sleep until 9:00 at the latest, work on the computer, skip breakfast and lunch, check my watch, and barely make it to class on time. This was the rhythm of last semester, the rhythm of the millstone. This, my friends, I cannot allow to be the case again. It was a curious experiment, but more needs to be done that cannot be done here. I have a semester pass at the climbing wall. A season pass at Spirit Mountain. A car that aches for quick drives up the north shore.

There’s still lots to do. Lots and lots and lots to do.

January 19, 2003

here’s your stinkin’ proof

Imagine that. A 12,000 page dossier, and all of it lies, lies, lies.

The teams of UN inspectors sent to investigate Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction arsenal made a stunning breakthrough last week when they uncovered evidence of Iraq’s attempts to build an atom bomb.

The inspectors paid surprise visits to the houses of two of Saddam’s leading nuclear physicists.

Once inside they found what one Western official has described as a “highly significant” batch of documents which, on closer inspection, revealed that Saddam’s scientists were continuing development work on producing an Iraqi nuclear weapon.

I predict we’ll be tearing the roof off the sucker within a month.