Friday, August 27, 2004

The Magic Five

Looking for a little variety in the morning routine. After suffering some aches and pains earlier this week, I decided to mix a little old-fashioned calisthenics with my usual yoga. Needed to pump things up a little. It helped.

For calisthenics I actually follow a modified version of Jack LaLanne's Magic Five. Yes, Jack is still alive. Kind of a weird web site. I remain intrigued by the idea of exercise at home with as few props as possible that's why Jack (and yoga) appeal to me.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The World as He Sees It

Lileks - Read it.
No magazine really reflects the world as I see it. They either magnify an interesting portion beyond its importance, or float off into irrelevance. Which is why I prefer the internet. Every day, a thousand pages. We make it. It’s our magazine. It’s the true pop culture, and the only question is how long it will take before the democratization of information makes the old celebrity paradigm irrelevant.

In the future, everyone will be hyperlinked for fifteen minutes. And that’s a good thing.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Left Behind?

I was not encouraged. That’s just one reason why I didn’t apply for all the new manager positions open at my office. Having just come out of a situation (another department) where I was actually sought out and encouraged to apply, the lack of any requests to apply for internal positions from my own senior management was taken as a sign.

But that’s the victim’s excuse. That’s the easy way out. I just don’t have the interest. I’m not feeling sorry for myself here, but I don’t have the “jazz” necessary to add something to a new position in this department. I just don’t want it. Time to move on. The fact that I wasn’t encouraged to apply just helps drive home that point.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Solution to our Problems

Piles of books? Here's something that caught my eye. The Sapien bookcase.
For those of us with a lot of books and very little space in which to store them, the Sapien Bookcase by Bruno Rainaldi provides a unique solution. By holding texts in a horizontal fashion, the design can accommodate up to 70 small and large books in a very compact footprint.

Co Pay for Oil-Change?

Why is it that there is only a "crisis" in health care? What about auto insurance?

Summary: Is there something special about health insurance that makes it crisis-prone? I mean, we never hear about the horrible "house insurance crisis" or the "spiraling cost of auto insurance."

Read the whole thing.. (via BusinessPundit)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Wished He Was a Unitarian?

Kerry stumbles into the "Good works" vs. "Faith alone" controversy. Is that Martin Luther I hear rolling over in his grave? From Kill the Buddha:
For the American politician working the stump, there is seldom anything risky about quoting scripture. The word of God oozing from a candidate’s lips is as predictable as the ensuing chicken and peas dinner, and has traditionally been one of the most effortless ways of winning over a mob of American voters. Unless -- and this is a full-size unless -- one happens to be a Roman Catholic who quotes a certain verse from the Epistle of James (2:14, to be exact), which Sen. John. Kerry did last Sunday, March 28, in St. Louis. . . .

And of course the Pope is now mad at Kerry on the abortion question.
Word of Sen. Kerry’s heresy has made its way back to the Rome, where a Vatican official recently told Time magazine that “People in Rome are becoming more and more aware that there’s a problem with John Kerry, and a potential scandal with his apparent profession of his Catholic faith and some of his stances, particularly abortion.” Sen. Kerry must sometimes wish he were a Unitarian.
[Emphasis mine.]

This certainly won't rise to the level of "Christmas in Cambodia" or the Swiftboat Veteran controversies, but I expect the elders on my father's side will get a kick out of it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Uff Da: MPR Buys WCAL

As an employee of an 8000+ employee international information-technology company I'm in a "glass house" when it comes to critizing large corporations. In fact, I'm not one of those anti-corporate types. I'm sort of a mixed bag when it comes to the influence of corporate America on our lives. I enjoy Target more than the corner drug store. However, I enjoy the corner coffee shop more than I enjoy Starbucks. I love the little hardware store by our house, but found myself at Home Depot last weekend anyway. Like I said, kind of a mixed bag.

That said, I've had just about enough of Minnesota Public Radio (MPR). The eMPiRe [hey - I just made that up - not bad] just announced plans to buy WCAL - Minnesota's first public radio station. WCAL was NOT part of the Kling Empire (Bill Kling is the President of MPR). WCAL was associated with St. Olaf College until they pulled their funding this year. Looks like they will continue normal operations until the end of 04, but what comes after that is anyone's guess. Although you'd have to be pretty slow to not see where this is leading:
Tom Kigin, MPR executive vice president and general counsel, was more specific: "It's fair to say that it would be unusual to have two classical music stations in one town."

Indeed, some major cities, including San Diego, Philadelphia and Detroit, no longer have even one full-time classical station.

It's not that I'm against MPR soley because of its size. I do enjoy their news programming on KNOW - 91.1, but I don't much care for their classical side, KSJN 99.5. Good old WCAL had local programming as well as programming from NPR. On Saturday mornings they carry a local show with an eclectic mix of music - mostly popular songs of the early to mid 20th century. On weekday evenings they carry National Public Radio's Performance Today. They also carry local religious programming and more. KSJN does have a nice Sunday morning show, though I haven't listened to it in some time, and I don't think they have much national programming. My impression of KSJN is a few local dj's spinning the same small assortment of classical CDs.

In Minnesota we will soon have ONE station. Anyone who has traveled outstate knows that MPR owns every public radio station from MPLS to Fargo and beyond. All the news stations play the same news, and all the classical stations play the same music.

Oh well, the money I save in WCAL pledges can be redirected to KFAI, 90.3 and the KBEM, 88.5.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

August Wind-Chill?

The dog days of summer? Hardly, it's 57 degrees at 11:30 a.m. Crazy weather, but I like it!

Signs of fall this week: Canada Geese in v-like formations over my neighborhood on their way to and from the University of Minnesota Ag campus cornfields—fueling up for the “big trip”; red leaves amongst the still-mostly green sumacs; and a desire to forgo the usual cold-press iced coffee at Caribou in favor of a hot cup of joe.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Beatles - Yes - Again!

Today (August 9, 1964) in Beatles history: Concert at the Futurist, Scarborough.

Today (August 9, 2004) - and what's playing at the Futurist? Spiderman 2.

Friday, August 06, 2004

They Still Are

Looking back on the summer of 1966, when it appeared the Beatles were bigger than Jesus - or more popular - or something. Here's what John Lennon actually said. Sometimes it pays to read the quote in context - - sometimes is doesn't.

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first, rock 'n' roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It's them twisting it that ruins it for me.
- John Lennon, 1966 (This quote sparked quite a large controversy, as many of you might know)

"Look, I wasn't saying the Beatles are better than God or Jesus. I said 'Beatles' because it's easy for me to talk about Beatles. I could have said TV or the cinema, motor cars or anything popular and I would have gotten away with it."
- John Lennon, 1966

"No I wouldn't say that at all."
- John Lennon, 1966, in response to the question "Do you feel you are being cruicified?" Steve's Beatle Page

This day in Beatles history, Aug. 6, 1966:
Brian [Epstein - Beatles manager] leaves his holidays at the village of Portmeirion, North Wales, to fly to New York and give a televised press conference defending Lennon in the `Bigger than Jesus' controversy.

We Like Our Fish With Poison

Stumbled upon a cool list. don't ask me how, I'm often unsure how I end up at these sights. Six Things You Don't Know About: Minnesota.

#1 Minnesota is Trannie Town:
Things seemed to going well that night at the bar. That tall, svelte gal flirting with you has just invited you home. Seems like it's your night until calloused man hands caress you and that Adam's apple suddenly just pops out. This happens a lot in our state. It's estimated that The Center for Sexual Health at the University of Minnesota (Go U!) does more than half the surgeries nationwide and plenty stick around our Twin Cities.

#5. We Prefer Our Fish With Poison, You Know, For Flavor.

Madison, Minn. has the unenviable distinction of being the "Lutefisk capital of the United States". Made from codfish, this is a Scandanavian delicacy which literally means "fish soaked in plutonium". However, the Norwegian immigrant's found an easier away of preserving their codfish was to soak it in lye. Yep. Fucking lye.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Cleaning House

Well - not really "house" - though lord knows that could use some cleaning. Just finished cleaning up my IE Favorites, dumping all the blogs that I no longer visit on a regular basis, or ones that I frequently visit despite the fact that they often annoy me. The latter are like a bad habit, akin to picking a scab. Once upon a time I found a "gem" on the site, saved it as a Favorite, then returned every day hoping for a similar gem, only to be disappointed. [Better watch where I go with this - people in glass houses, etc.]

Anyway, cleaned up my Favorites and I'm now looking for more.